Embry v. Ryan

Summary

Lambda Legal’s Greg Nevins filed an amicus brief on behalf of several constitutional law professors in this NCLR case arguing – as the Florida intermediate appellate court ultimately ruled – that the federal Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause requires that states honor adoption judgments issued by sister state’s courts. After the biological mother in this case did not appeal the appellate ruling, that decision became final, allowing the child’s adoptive, non-biological mother to seek custody and visitation.

History

  • February 2008 Florida family court grants motion to dismiss, thereby refusing to recognize second parent adoption that a lesbian couple had obtained from a court in Washington State.
  • July 2008 Lambda Legal files friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of several constitutional law professors in Florida Court of Appeal for the Second District in support of reversing the Florida family court, arguing that the Full Faith and Credit Clause and Florida law require that adoption decrees from other states be recognized in Florida.
  • May 2009 Florida Court of Appeal entered its opinion reversing the Florida family court and ruling that the United States Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause, and Florida law, mandate that adoption decrees obtained in other states must be recognized in Florida.

Case Information

Status: Closed

Attorneys

Lambda Legal
Greg Nevins

Cooperative Attorneys
Jon L. Mills, Erwin Chemerinsky, Sharon Rush, Robert Schapiro