Federal lawsuit challenges Mississippi's adoption ban - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Federal lawsuit challenges Mississippi's adoption ban

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -

Mississippi is the LAST state left with a ban keeping same sex couples from adopting. But a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday morning, is challenging that.
Several couples wanting to adopt children joined in.

Brittany Rowell and Jessica Harbuck are engaged to be married. The date is set for January. Meanwhile, they'll be some of the faces of the fight for adoption rights.

"I want a big huge chaotic family and a mini van full of stinky soccer cleats," said Brittany Rowell.

Mississippi's Adoption ban keeps the couple from jointly adopting a child.

"There are all these children that need homes and you don't want to let them go to people that would love them just because they have the same gender or sex," Rowell added. "Why does it matter?"

They'd like to adopt out of the foster care system, possibly a group of older siblings.

"I know that I want to be a mother no matter what," explained Jessica Harbuck.

Court documents show other couples were given the suggestion to adopt as a "single" person. But there could be no signs of the partner during the home study. Still, there would be no legal protections because only one would be the "legal" parent.

"Don't want to have to worry about if something were to happen to one of us," Harbuck described. "Someone could come and take our children away from us."

The couple is hopeful that those nine words of Mississippi law will change. And folks' definition of a family will, too.

"Some families have two moms, some have one mom, some have no moms," Rowell said.

Governor Bryant released this statement: “The current statutory law in Mississippi prohibits adoption by couples of the same gender. This prohibition was added by the Legislature in 2000. I hope the Attorney General will vigorously defend the State of Mississippi against this lawsuit.”

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