North Carolina court upholds adoption by lesbian senator

The Dallas Voice reports that the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled to preserve an adoption by the state’s only openly gay legislator Sen. Julia Boseman [D-New Hanover].

In 2002, Boseman’s former partner, Melissa Jarrell, gave birth to the couple’s six-year-old son, whom she conceived through artificial insemination. Boseman [pictured] adopted the baby three years later when Jarrell initiated legal proceedings in Durham County District Court making Boseman an adoptive co-mother.

After the couple split up, Jarrell then sought to void Boseman’s parental rights.

The three-judge panel said Jarrell’s and Boseman’s status as a former same-sex couple had no bearing on the case and that the result would have been the same in a case involving a heterosexual couple.

Boseman has had a successful legislative career and was re-elected to a third term last November. She was the primary sponsor of the GLBT-inclusive School Violence Prevention Act.

North Carolina law allows single GLBT people to adopt, but has been unclear on the issue of joint adoption and second-parent adoption by same-sex couples. Although North Carolina has no state constitutional amendment addressing the issue of marriage, lawmakers approved in 1996 a statutory Defense of Marriage Act denying same-sex couples any of the rights or privileges of marriage.

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