Georgia Adoption By Lesbian Couple Was Not Given Full Faith And Credit In Alabama

A case involving same-sex adoption in Georgia is denied recognition in Alabama.  The Alabama Supreme Court found the Decree of Adoption void because the parental rights of the biological mother were not termination prior to the adoption.  The Court further found that this was an unfulfilled requirement under Georgia Law and that if the case had been challenged in Georgia, the appellate court in Georgia would have also found the Decree of Adoption void. Therefore, the Court refused to give the judgment

The Alabama Supreme Court is referencing The Official Code of Georgia § 19-8-5 (a) when a child is to be adopted by a third party: “Except as otherwise authorized in this chapter, a child who has any living parent or guardian may be adopted by a third party who is neither the stepparent nor relative of that child, as described in subsection (a) of Code Sections 19-8-6 and 19-8-7, only if each such living parent and each such guardian has voluntarily and in writing surrendered all of his rights to the child to that third person for the purpose of enabling that person to adopt the child”.

The problem some have with the ruling is that it involves a lesbian couple, artificial insemination where one partner gave birth to the children and other adopted.  The biological mother fully consented to the adoptions.  However, the Alabama Court argues the consent is not enough.  It was her parental rights staying intact that is the issue.

The National Center of Lesbian Rights released a statement that “Although the Alabama Supreme Court recognized that full faith and credit prohibits a state from inquiring into the laws applied by a court from another state, it ruled that Alabama did not have to respect the Georgia court’s adoption because the Court believed that Georgia law did not allow same-sex parents to adopt,”

Attorney Tiffany Lunn thinks that what this case showcases more than anything is the changes in family structures that are underway that the law in many states have not taken into account.  New and emerging laws will be making their footprints across the county.  State appellate courts will be busy determining in what direction their state will go.  Stay tune to see what direction, the appellate courts in Georgia take.

Article Discussing Alabama Ruling

Alabama Supreme Court Ruling

Motion To Set Aside Judgment

Once a judgment is reached in a divorce or other domestic matter, litigants find themselves in a huge hole trying to get the judgment set aside (or for the court not to let the Final Order stand).  Having a judgment set aside and/or attacked depends on a number of issues including why the court is being asked to set aside the judgment and the applicable time frame from the judgment being entered to it being attacked.  Depending on the reason for attacking a judgment, such attack may be more time sensitive than for other reasons per the Official Code of Georgia.

If a motion is set aside, the judgment is therefrom inoperative and ineffective. However, a judgment will not be set aside without a sound legal basis.  The Georgia Code is strict on how and why a judgment can be attacked. If you need to attack a judgment you should speak with an experienced attorney about your matter.  Attorney Tiffany Lunn of Lunn Law LLC recently appeared in Fayette County Superior Court to assist in attacking a Motion to Set Aside.  Attorney Tiffany Lunn and Lunn Law LLC have offices in both Jonesboro and Fayetteville, GA and represent clients in Metro-Atlanta regarding divorce, custody and other domestic conflicts.

Post-Judgment Relief From Unfavorable Ruling

When a default judgment has been obtained or there has been a court ruling that has been unfavorable to a litigant, time is of the essence.  A litigant should begin right away to seek to attack the judgment or appeal to a higher court.  These actions should not be contemplated for months, because at that point a litigant’s options are likely to be narrowed or more limited.

Many times a litigant can attempt to challenge a previous ruling upon good grounds, but has allowed significant time to pass before taking any action.  When this is the case,  the litigant may have to live with the current ruling or file a new case, when applicable.  Attacking a ruling can be complicated and require a good grasp on the law and also post-judgment procedures.  Litigants should attempt to seek legal assistance right away to increase the likelihood that any attack or appeal will be successful.

Post written by: Attorney Tiffany Lunn

Phone: 770-492-2974

Published in: on January 7, 2011 at 11:30 am  Comments Off on Post-Judgment Relief From Unfavorable Ruling  
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Hire Court Reporter For Important Hearings

Litigants are given an option whether to have their hearing transcribed by the judge’s court reporter on the day and time of hearing.  Litigants should strongly consider employing the court reporter in case the  court’s ruling is adverse to their interests and there could later be a desire to appeal.

If there is no transcript of the court proceeding, the court’s ruling is likely to stand, regardless if it was based on legal error.  You may find that the cost of acquiring the court reporter’s services would have been well worth it in hindsight.  For an example, see  Holmes v. Roberson-Homles, S10F0130,

Post written by: Tiffany Lunn Esq

Phone: 770-492-2974

Published in: on November 14, 2010 at 3:39 pm  Comments Off on Hire Court Reporter For Important Hearings  
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