In the wake of the constitutional ban on same-sex marriages in North Carolina, a lawsuit has been filed over a law that threatens to break up families and hurt children. The American Civil Liberties Union and six couples have filed a federal lawsuit against the state’s law preventing two-parent adoptions for unmarried couples.
For Crystal Hendrix and Leigh Smith, this is especially problematic since the couple have two children- two-year-old Quinn and eight-month-old Joe. Crystal and Leigh use to travel the world before settling in North Carolina, and Crystal has said that “Even the smallest thing is better than the most incredible trip I ever took in my life.”
The two have been together for seven years. Crystal is the biological mother of Quinn and Joe, but North Carolina law does not recognize Smith as a legal parent at all. Crystal stated “If we had that second parent adoption, it would secure our family.” Leigh stated that “I fear if there’s a medical emergency whether or not I can take him to the hospital, whether or not they’ll let me in. . .I’m with the kids, I’m taking care of the kids and the state doesn’t recognize that, and it hurts.”
The lawsuit states that the current ban on second parent adoptions is unconstitutional. Chris Brook, the legal director at the ACLU of North Carolina, stated that “They have two parents that care for them, but the law treats one of their parents as a stranger. . .We just think that it would be better if second parent adoptions were permitted in the state.”
According to FOX Carolina:
Both Hendrix and Smith say they’re committed not only to one another but to the fight for their rights and to the rights of their children.
North Carolina used to recognize second parent adoptions, but back in 2010, the state Supreme Court ruled them illegal for both straight and gay couples.