Two Portland women who have fought for the past six years to adopt two siblings, now aged 10 and 6. And now the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled in the lesbian family’s favor.
Supreme court justices unanimously struck down a previous ruling by the Cumberland County Probate Court, which did not allow Ann Courtney and Marilyn Kirby to jointly adopt the children.
The case was argued by attorneys at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).
“We’re ecstatic,” Ann Courtney said in a written statement. “We love these kids, and their well-being means everything to us. Our daughter and son can now know that we are a family, and we’ll always be a family.”
“Today’s ruling marks the first time in Maine history that a same-sex couple can jointly adopt a child,” Betsy Smith, executive director of EqualityMaine, said in a written statement. “Until now, only a married couple or an unmarried person has been able to petition to adopt a child. This ruling is very welcome news to those of us raising children with whom we are unable to establish legal relationships.”
The women became foster parents after the kids, then 4 years and 4 months old, were removed from the care of their biological parents. The children have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, reactive attachment disorder, and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.