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Same-sex couples' adoption rights subject of court challenge

Last week, we reflected about how policies on the issue of same-sex marriage continue to be in flux. Headlines of recent weeks display the reality that tensions still remain.

Mississippi government clerks are issuing marriage licenses in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June recognizing same-sex marriage as legal in all states. But one Kentucky clerk recently opted for jail rather than abide by a court order to issue licenses. And a Tennessee judge refused to grant a divorce to a heterosexual couple because he said the high court's ruling indicated states don't know how to define marriage, and hence can't define divorce, either.

That recognition of same-sex relationships remains complicated as a matter of family law in Mississippi is reflected in a new lawsuit around the issue of adoption. State law makes it illegal for same-sex couples to adopt a child in this state. Meanwhile, a single adult is allowed to create a family through adoption, regardless of sexual orientation. The process might not be without some legal hurdles, so enlisting an experienced attorney's help is wise.

The adoption rights of same-sex couples in Mississippi are now the subject of a new legal battle. Leading that effort are four same-sex couples from this state. The claim being made in their suit is that if other-sex couples and single gay individuals can adopt, then it is unconstitutional to ban same-sex couples from being able to form families through that means.

Some experts say the state could find it tough to successfully defend the ban if it even chooses to do so. Researchers estimate that Mississippi already home to the largest percentage of families with gay parents in the country. Even the governor who signed the ban into law says he now supports lifting it. He says he regrets an action that has "made it harder for an untold number of children to grow up in happy, healthy homes."

For now, we must wait to see what happens and work with the laws as they are on the books.

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