Lesbian Couple Challenge Michigan’s Constitutional Ban on Gay Marriage

Image via NCRM

Image via NCRM from Family

Southeastern Michigan residents April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are challenging Michigan’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, as well as its adoption code that prohibits them from adopting their children together. The couple, who has been in a committed relationship for over a decade, has three special-needs children. DeBoer, a neo-natal intensive care nurse, and Rowse, an emergency room nurse, became licensed as a couple to be foster parents. Within a year and a half, they welcomed three newborns who had been abandoned or surrendered at birth. The children faced long-term physical and mental impairments due to prematurity, little or no prenatal care, maternal drug use, and other complications. DeBoer and Rowse’s desire to jointly adopt all three children would establish each parent’s legal claim and relationship to their children.

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Currently one has adopted two of the children and the other has adopted one. April and Jayne asserted that the Michigan Adoption Code, which prohibits joint adoption for their kids and thousands of other children in households like theirs across the state, violates their right to Equal Protection under the United States Constitution. “Jayne and I love our children as deeply as any other parent loves their kids,” said DeBoer. “We just want our children to have the same protections all other children have, so that our kids know they can never be taken from either of us.”

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