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40 Ariz. L. Rev. 1497 (1998)
Adoption by Homosexuals: A Look at Differing State Court Opinions

handle is hein.journals/arz40 and id is 1517 raw text is: ADOPTION BY HOMOSEXUALS: A LOOK AT
DIFFERING STATE COURT OPINIONS
Karla J. Starr
I. INTRODUCTION
During the past two decades, an increasing number of adoption petitions
by gay and lesbian couples have been filed in state courts around the country.' The
increase in adoption petitions is a reflection, in part, of the growing visibility and
political strength of gays and lesbians.2 Gays and lesbians are increasingly willing
to judicially fight for custody and adoption rights.' This surge of interest by gays
and lesbians in adoption is forcing state courts to struggle with the reality of gays
and lesbians adopting children.4
The issue facing state courts is whether adoption by gay or lesbian adults
could serve the best interests of children.5 There is considerable controversy
surrounding this issue,' and as a result, the adoption laws pertaining to gays and
1.    See, e.g., In the Matter of the Adoption of Two Children by H.N.R., 666
A.2d 535, 536 (1995). See also Nancy D. Polikoff, This Child Does Have Two Mothers:
Redefining Parenthood to Meet the Needs of Children in Lesbian-Mother and Other Non-
traditional Families, 78 GEO. L.J. 459 (1990); Elizabeth A. Delaney, Note, Statutory
Protection of the Other Mother: Legally Recognizing the Relationship Between the
Nonbiological Lesbian Parent and Her Child, 43 HASTINGs L.J. 177 (1991); Elizabeth
Zuckerman, Comment, Second Parent Adoption for Lesbian-Parented Families: Legal
Recognition of the Other Mother, 19 U.C. DAvis L. REv. 729 (1986).
2.    See William E. Adams, Jr., Whose Family Is It Anyway? The Continuing
Struggle for Lesbian and Gay Men Seeking to Adopt Children, 30 NEw ENG. L. Rnv. 579,
580 (1996).
3.    See id. at 581.
4.    See id. at 579 (citing cases from twenty-seven states).
5.    See Charlotte J. Patterson, Adoption of Minor Children By Lesbian and Gay
Adults: A Social Science Perspective, 2 DUKE J. GENDER L. & PoL'Y 191 (1995).
6.    See id. See also David K. Flaks, Gay and Lesbian Families: Judicial
Assumptions, Scientific Facts, 3 WM. & MARY BILL RTs. J. 345 (1994); Lisa M. Pooley,
Heterosexism and Children's Best Interests: Conflicting Concepts in Nancy S. v. Michele
G., 27 U.S.F. L. REv. 477 (1993); Jack Broom, Gay-Rights Backers Vow to Deter Adoption
Ban, SEArn TIMES, Oct. 6, 1993, at B4; Laurie K. Schenden, Wins & Losses; Gay
Couples Have Made Some Progress on the Adoption Front, With a Growing Number of
Judges Allowing Partners to be Co-Parents; But Case Law Continues to be Inconsistent

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