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Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Gay Couple Wins Ruling on Son’s Birth Certificate

(CN) - The Louisiana registrar must issue a birth certificate listing a gay couple as the parents of an adopted son born in Shreveport, the 5th Circuit ruled.

The adoptive parents, Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith, were living in Connecticut when they obtained an emergency adoption decree in New York state court.

The couple then applied for a new birth certificate listing them as the parents of their adopted son, who was born in Louisiana.

Louisiana registrar Darlene W. Smith refused to issue the certificate, citing state laws barring unmarried couples from adopting children in Louisiana.

But the district court ordered Smith to issue the certificate, saying Louisiana owes "full faith and credit" to the New York adoption decree.

The New Orleans-based appeals court agreed.

"Adar and Smith are the 'adoptive parents'" under Louisiana law, Judge Jacques Wiener Jr. wrote, and the state "owes full faith and credit to the New York adoption decree that declares [the infant] to be the adopted child of Adar and Smith."

Wiener added that Louisiana law "does not vest the Registrar with the discretion to refuse to make a new, correct birth certificate for a Louisiana-born child" when the New York adoption decree "indisputably satisfies" Louisiana requirements.

The court also rejected the registrar's attack on the couple's standing, saying their adopted son has the "right to an accurate birth certificate."

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