In re Adoption of Luke
263 Neb. 365, 640 N.W.2d 374 (2002)

  • B.P. and A.E. were not married but living together. B.P. had a child named Luke. A.E. wanted to adopt the child.
    • The child was conceived through an anonymous sperm donor.
    • B.P. and A.E. were a lesbian couple, forbidden to marry in Nebraska.
  • The Trial Court denied the adoption. B.P. and A.E. appealed.
    • The Trial Court found that in order for a non-stepparent to adopt, the birth parent had to relinquish their parental rights. In this case, B.P. was not relinquishing rights.
    • B.P. unsuccessfully argued that her consent was the equivalent of a relinquishment.
  • The Appellate Court affirmed.
    • The Appellate Court found that adoption law was a purely Statutory issue, and the Statute was quite clear that unmarried adults could not adopt stepchildren. There was no wiggle room.
  • In a dissent, it was argued that consent should be good enough, you should not have to relinquish.
  • The majority decision is not followed by all States.
  • One way to get around this scenario is to have one woman donate the egg and the other woman carry the child to term. That way they’d both have a biological connection to the baby!
    • Of course that doesn’t work for two guys.