Thursday, August 9, 2007
Case Law Development: Tenth Circuit Holds that Oklahoma Must Recognize Same Sex Adoptions of Other States
The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has upheld a district court judgment that a state law barring recognition of adoptions by same-sex couples already finalized in another state is unconstitutional. The case involved three same-sex couples who had adopted children in other states. These three families brought suit against the state of Oklahoma seeking to enjoin enforcement of the adoption amendment, naming the governor, attorney general and commissioner of health in their official capacities. The court held that "final adoption orders by a state court of competent jurisdiction are judgments that must be given full faith and credit under the Constitution by every other state in the nation. Because the Oklahoma statute at issue categorically rejects a class of out-of-state adoption decrees, it violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause."
Finstuen v. Crutcher (US App 10th Cir. August 3, 2007)
Opinion online (last visited August 10, 2007 bgf)