Articles Tagged with same-sex adoption

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What can I do to gain custody of my child in North Carolina?”

What is a mother? A father? A parent? Though these concepts have long avoided detailed examination by the courts, times are changing and specific definitions will need to be created or, in some cases, changed. As states continue to feel the impact of the Obergefell same-sex marriage case, they have found themselves increasingly drawn into disputes regarding what makes someone a parent, something that requires the courts to lay out a more precise and potentially different definition than in years past.

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What are my custody rights if the other parent moves?”

Though it’s gone smoothly in some places, other courts in more conservative states have had a bumpy road adapting to changed legal realities since the landmark same-sex marriage case decided by the Supreme Court in 2015. A good example of this is in Tennessee, where one same-sex couple has spent months and months fighting to get a divorce, something that has proven harder than many expected.

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “Can any attorney help me with my family law needs in North Carolina?”

The same-sex couple who sued the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services in 2015 has settled their case after state officials agreed to change North Carolina’s policy on birth certificates, which until now would not permit children born to married lesbian couples to amend the birth certificates to include both parents’ names.

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What can I do to gain custody of my child in North Carolina?”

Most people remember that the Supreme Court’s momentous decision last year in the Obergefell case made gay marriage legal across the country. Despite the important decision, issues surrounding gay marriage, such as gay divorce or gay parental rights, continue to receive intense scrutiny and are the subjects of divisive legal battles. Though the hope among many was that the Obergefell decision would lead to clarity, the ruling, while answering one question definitively, left many others remaining to be hashed out.

Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Who pays for the children’s health insurance and co-pays?”


North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage took another blow on Wednesday. United States District Court Judge William L. Osteen, Jr. ruled that the Tar Heel State’s 2012 state constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

Brides Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Family Law AttorneyJudge Osteen ruled that the state could not prevent same-sex couples from marrying and could not prohibit the recognition of lawful same-sex marriages consummated in other states. Judge Osteen enjoined the state and its officers from enforcing the same-sex marriage ban. Attorney General Roy Cooper already announced this past July that he would not enforce the ban.

Judge Osteen dismissed claims brought by six same-sex couples “concerning the adoption laws of North Carolina.” In their complaint in Fisher-Borne v. Smith, et al., the couples alleged that so-called “second parent adoption is the only way that a family in North Carolina with gay or lesbian parents can ensure that both parents have a legal relationship with the child” and enjoy the benefits and protections “of a legally-recognized parent-child relationship with both parents.”

Plaintiffs Marcie and Chantelle Fisher-Borne of Durham alleged that their children faced potential exclusion from private or public health benefits, veterans’ benefits, disability or social security benefits, life insurance benefits and workers’ compensation benefits. Marcie gave birth to six-year-old Miley, while Chantelle gave birth to two-year-old Elijah. To date, North Carolina law has prohibited Marcie from adopting Elijah and has prevented Chantelle from adopting Miley.

The North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the prohibition on second parent adoptions in 2010 in Boseman v. Jarrell, a case that arose out of a child-custody dispute involving former North Carolina State Senator Julia Boseman and her former partner.

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