Should the legal ties between parents and their adopted child unravel if the family leaves the state where the adoption decree was handed down?
Of course not. The very idea is outrageous.
But that's what Oklahoma lawmakers were striving for in 2004 with their chillingly titled "Adoption Invalidation Law," which targeted adopted children with gay parents.
That wrongheaded statute declared that Oklahoma would refuse to recognize "an adoption by more than one individual of the same sex from any other state or foreign jurisdiction." In other words, if a gay couple and the child they adopted in, say, California or Maryland moved to Oklahoma or simply drove through Oklahoma on vacation, they would not be treated as a legally recognized family by any Oklahoma official -- whether a police officer, public school teacher or judge.
Sounds un-American, doesn't it? It's also unconstitutional. That's what a federal court of appeals told Oklahoma on Aug. 3 in striking down the law. A panel of three judges -- all of them Republican appointees -- of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court ruling that Oklahoma's anti-family law violated the U.S. Constitution's Full Faith and Credit Clause, which requires states to honor one another's judicial judgments, including adoptions. Read more...