Gay Couple's Adoption Ruling Sets Idaho Precedent

2014-02-12T00:15:00Z Gay Couple's Adoption Ruling Sets Idaho PrecedentBY DAN POPKEY, Idaho Statesman Twin Falls Times-News

In a unanimous opinion that sets a precedent for gay and other non-traditional couples, the Idaho Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for Darcy Drake Simpson to adopt two boys who until now have had just one legal parent, Simpson's same-sex partner Rene Simpson.

The Boise couple, together since 1995, were married last year in California. Their adoption petition for the boys, ages 12 and 15, will be returned to Ada County Magistrate Cathleen MacGregor Irby, who took just 14 days last summer to deny the adoption.

Rene Simpson gave birth to her first son in 1998 and adopted a second boy as an infant in 2001.

MacGregor Irby had ruled that the couple must be in a legally recognized union. But the court found that the language of the law - that 'any person' may adopt a minor child - plainly allows adoptions by same-sex couples.

Wrote Justice Jim Jones for the court:

"In sum, the magistrate’s interpretation of Idaho law is simply not supported by the plain text of the statute. In light of the unambiguous language in I.C. 16-1501 that allows for 'any adult person residing in and having residence in Idaho' to adopt 'any minor child,' and because chapter 15 contains no provisions that limit adoption to those who are married, Idaho’s adoption statutes plainly allow Jane Doe to adopt John Doe and John Doe I."

Adoption cases are under seal, but Darcy Drake Simpson and Rene Simpson came forth in December hoping to raise awareness about the problems faced by families headed by same-sex couples.

One of the Boise couple's lawyers, Bill Mauk, said the case would set a precedent for adoption not just by gay couples, but also for grandparents, aunts and uncles, and others.

MacGregor Irby, who had issued at least one similar denial to a same-sex couple, wrote on Sept. 13: "(T)his court concludes that the legislature's intent in relation to adoptions is that the petitioner must be in a lawfully recognized union, i.e. married to the prospective adoptee's parent, to have legal standing to file a petition to adopt that person's biological or adopted child."

Copyright 2015 Twin Falls Times-News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. charientism
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    charientism - February 22, 2014 10:32 am
    I think these two women are well aware that they cannot conceive with one another. That's not what they are trying to do, they are trying to adopt. Give a child a loving family. Who cares if a man and woman,or two women or two men want to do this. They are willing and want to provide for a child who doesn't have that otherwise. Thank god idaho is pulling its head out and getting with modern times. Its because people like you, bible thumping biggots, that states don't move forward because you all are still reading this ancient book that says you can't do something. Its ridiculous! i hope you have children who have children that are the gayest little things! seriously your beliefs are going to be a thing of the past. no one will think the way you do anymore and you want to know why?? because, there isn't a damn thing wrong with two people loving one another.
  2. begi
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    begi - February 13, 2014 11:11 am
    I read it, the one wants to adopt the others child, I get it. Why don't they have a child together if she wants to have a child she can call her own? Oh wait, two sets of ovaries can not conceive a child. Right skc id? Or can they? You must not understand my post.
  3. SKC_ID
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    SKC_ID - February 12, 2014 11:25 pm
    And, you still haven't learned how to actually READ an article.
  4. begi
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    begi - February 12, 2014 11:33 am
    Its interesting they are talking about adopting there children. The big question is, why don't they just conceive their own?
  5. andreamf
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    andreamf - February 11, 2014 6:40 pm
    Yay for Idaho!

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