Hazel Park Couple’s Adoption and Marriage Case Gets Feb Trial Date

Hazel Park Couple’s Adoption and Marriage Case Gets Feb Trial DateHowesLocation

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 17, 2013)

Despite the high hopes of dozens of supporters in front of the Federal Courthouse in Detroit, and couples waiting to marry at county clerk’s offices around the state, Judge Bernard Friedman did not issue a summary judgment in the marriage and second parent adoption case before him on Oct. 16.

Hazel Park Couple Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer are suing the State of Michigan and the Oakland County Clerk’s office because they feel it is unconstitutional that they are not allowed to jointly adopt children or marry because they are the same gender.  Couples waited in at least three counties (Oakland, Ingham and Washtenaw) in hopes that there might be a small window of time to get married between the issuance of a summary judgment, and the State being able to file their appeal.

After a year and a half of legal battles and waiting, the couple had hoped for a summary judgment in the matter.  nicholas-schrock-allstateHowever Judge Friedman decided to proceed with a trial, citing the need to settle statements of fact.  “I’m in the middle. I have to decide this as a matter of law. I intend to do so,” Friedman said.

The trial will begin Feb. 25, 2014.  In the meantime, the three children and their lesbian mothers will continue to wait, hoping that nothing will happen to their family.  Under Michigan law, each child only has one legal parent.  The other mother has no parental rights.  This means that if one parent becomes incapacitated in some way, the state considers the other mother a legal stranger and could take away the child.  It adds complication to basic parenting tasks like taking a child to the doctors or dealing with their school. And it keeps children who are being raised with brothers or sisters from having the legal recognition of being family.

For detailed coverage of Wednesday’s rally and court proceedings, turn to www.pridesource.com.  The Oakland County 115 News Hub partners with pridesource.com for LGBT coverage, and our full coverage will be updated as available.

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