Nov 19, 2013
Equality NC Announces Crucial Conversation About Campaign to Win Parenting and Marriage Equality
Parents in life, strangers on paper: How North Carolina laws barring second-parent adoption and marriage for same-sex couples jeopardize families and their children.
Raleigh, N.C. - NC Policy Watch, the ACLU of North Carolina, and Equality NC are proud to announce a very special Crucial Conversation, on December 3, 2013, at noon, in Raleigh (Junior League of Raleigh, 711 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, 27603), featuring Chris Brook, Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation; Chris Sgro, Executive Director of Equality North Carolina; and parents Chantelle Fisher-Borne, Shawn Long, and Craig Johnson, plaintiffs in Fisher-Borne v. Smith, a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s bans on second parent adoption and marriage for same-sex couples on behalf of six North Carolina families. More info >>>
In North Carolina, same-sex couples are legally prohibited from sharing custody of their own children. For thousands of families across the state with two moms or two dads, this means that only one parent is able to be the legally recognized guardian of the biological or adoptive children that they and their partner are raising together. To the state, the other parent is a legal stranger – a parent in heart, body, and mind, but not on paper.
The law harms the children of same-sex couples in countless ways. A non-legally recognized parent can be barred from visiting their child in the hospital, consenting to emergency medical care, or providing them with health insurance. If a child’s legally recognized parent dies, the child could even be ripped away from his or her surviving parent and the only home they know.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn North Carolina’s ban on second parent adoption, in which one partner in an unmarried gay or straight couple adopts the other partner’s biological or adoptive child. This summer, that lawsuit was amended to include a challenge to the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, adding North Carolina to the growing the list of states seeking to win the freedom to marry.