All Families Big and Small



Recently, the Arkansas Supreme Court Same-Sex-Ruling ruled that the non-biological spouse of a child being adopted could not be listed on the birth certificate.  According to the majority opinion, Arkansas Associate Judge Jo Hart wrote: “ In the situation involving the female spouse of a biological mother, the female spouse does not have the same biological nexus to the child that the biological mother or the biological father has.”

It is a matter of  the protection of due process vs. the needs of the state. The Court’s ruling blindly assumes that a heterosexual couple, which lists the marital or domestic male as the biological parent, meets the weak state interest in providing genetic information to a child for health reasons.

Only DNA records can establish, to a medical certainty, the validity of any inherited trait that may be directly health related.  Often, true parentage is found out in divorce or other separation proceedings. Unless there is an Arkansas law that requires both parents to submit DNA samples, that match the child in question before being listed on a birth certificate, the Court’s ruling clearly discriminates against same-sex couples and blended families. Furthermore, in some cases, the biological mother or father may be unknown, due to an anonymous donation of eggs or sperm respectively.

The States argument is clearly designed to hinder the development of same-sex households. It may very well backfire as new research from the University of Cambridge in the UK and Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel leads to the possibility of producing primordial germ cells(PCGs) Same-Sex Babies that could go on to become eggs and sperm regardless of the gender of the donors.  The sperm cells would still need to interact with certain testicular cells to mature.  These advances could lead to a same-sex couple conceiving a biological child.  This ban on listing a non-biological parent could become a catalyst for even more use of alternative contraceptive approaches.

Yes, Another Same-Sex Marriage Rant

The makeup of families is ever-changing, and it is important to understand that adoption is the creation of a new family structure.  The inequity imposed by this decision was clearly recognized by the US Supreme Court in its recent landmark 2015 ruling.  People regardless of gender have the right in this country to pursue their definition of happiness.

For many that may mean marrying the one they love, having children, and having a secure and equal legal status with regard to their spouse and child. The view of a family structure of a male breadwinner, female homemaker, and biological children cannot be used to frame the rights of those who do not fit this model.


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