From The New York Times, March 7, 2016:
By Adam Liptak
WASHINGTON — In a pair of unsigned opinions, the Supreme Court on Monday restored the rights of an adoptive mother who had split with her lesbian partner and reversed a murder conviction tainted by prosecutorial misconduct.
The adoption ruling reversed one by the Alabama Supreme Court, which had refused to recognize the woman’s adoptions of three children, which had been granted by a Georgia court in 2007.
The woman, identified in court papers as V.L., said she was overjoyed.
“I have been my children’s mother in every way for their whole lives,” she said in a statement. “I thought that adopting them meant that we would be able to be together always. When the Alabama court said my adoption was invalid and I wasn’t their mother, I didn’t think I could go on.”
The United States Supreme Court’s opinion, which had no noted dissents, said the Alabama court had violated the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause. “A state may not disregard the judgment of a sister state because it disagrees with the reasoning underlying the judgment or deems it to be wrong on the merits,” the opinion said.
The two women in the case, V.L. v. E.L., No. 15-648, were in a committed relationship that started in 1995 and lasted about 17 years. They shared a last name.