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Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
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Gay Parent in Ala. Sues Over Adoption Denial

MOBILE, Ala. (CN) - One of the plaintiffs challenging Alabama's same-sex marriage ban is now suing Mobile County's probate judge for denying her petition to adopt her spouse's child.

Plaintiff Cari Searcy married Kimberly McKeand in California in 2008, but three years earlier, the couple had a male friend who agreed to be a sperm donor so they could have a baby.

McKeand carried the male child, who has only known both women "as his parents since birth." Searcy says the sperm donor has relinquished all rights to the child and in fact "consents" to her adoption petition.

Once the Mobile Federal Court found that the Alabama Sanctity Laws prohibiting same-sex marriage violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment, Searcy applied to adopt the child she has helped raise since his birth.

But in a complaint filed on Tuesday, Searcy says Probate Judge Don Davis is "continuing to enforce the remnants of those now void laws" and he refused to grant the adoption petition through an interlocutory order that states, "It is further ORDERED by the Court that this Decree is qualified in nature, and the Court will not issue a final adoption order until a final ruling is issued in the United States Supreme Court on the Marriage Act cases before it."

Searcy says she is in a "close, loving, and stable relationship" with McKeand, and they have provided a "nurturing, supportive, and loving home environment since birth" to their son. They share the "financial, medical, career, spiritual, and social decisions as a married couple."

According to the complaint, Searcy "is endowed with certain inalienable rights that include, among others, the right to be treated justly and equitably" and Don Davis "has no legitimate reason for continuing to abide by the fiction that the Alabama Sanctity Laws have any effect in Alabama" and there is no reason "why he is affirmatively delaying this adoption."

Searcy wants the court to grant her adoption without further delay and that Davis treat her family "the same way that he would a heterosexual family."

She is represented by David G. Kennedy of Mobile, Alabama.

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