It is with great happiness that our firm shares this major victory for clients of ours. Several years ago, Lori Surmay finalized here in Georgia a second parent adoption for a lesbian couple, one of whom is French. For years, they fought through the French legal system seeking French recognition of the adoption. The courts kept getting caught up in fears that the second parent’s adoption would somehow negate the rights of the first parent, the biological mother, despite evidence to the contrary including an affidavit stating that the U.S. final adoption order created a “second” legal parent (in addition to, not in replacement of, the first). On the same day recently that our French client earned her U.S. citizenship, the highest French court ruled in her favor. See a translation of one of the French articles published in Le Monde.
As the child spends a great deal of time in France with her grandparents, the family is greatly relieved that she now may be eligible for dual citizenship and a work visa in the future. When Lori first met this family, the little girl was in utero. She now ranks as one of the top swimmers in the state for 11 year olds. She is a normal child whose parents went to extraordinary measures to plan for her future and to provide her every advantage they could. This case will change things for all unmarried adoptive parents in France and we are thrilled with the outcome. Vive la France!