GREENSBORO, N.C. — Six same-sex couples and their children are at the center of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU North Carolina Legal Foundation on June 13. The action seeks to obtain the right to obtain second parent adoptions for their children.

Whether in gay or straight relationships, second parent adoptions occur when one partner in an unmarried couple adopts the other partner’s biological or adoptive child, the ACLU reports.

“North Carolina’s law denies children the permanency and security of a loving home simply because their parents are lesbian or gay,” said North Carolina ACLU Executive Director Jennifer Rudinger. “This is fundamentally wrong. No parent should have to worry about what will happen to their children if something happens to their partner.”

The ACLU said that some of the protections that come with a second parent adoption include: ensuring that all children in the family are covered if one partner lacks health insurance; ensuring that families will stay together and children will not be torn from the only home they’ve known if something should happen to the biological parent; ensuring that either parent will be allowed to make medical decisions or be able to be by their child’s bedside if one their children is hospitalized.

Plaintiffs are: Marcie and Chantelle Fisher-Borne, Durham; Crystal Hendrix and Leigh Smith, Asheville; Lee Knight Caffery and Dana Draa, Charlotte; Shana Carignan and Megan Parker, Greensboro; Leslie Zanaglio and Terri Beck, Morrisville; and Shawn Long and Craig Johnson, Wake Forest.

Previously, second parent adoptions were recognized, but in 2010, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled them illegal, FOX Carolina shared.

For more information, visit A copy of the complaint is available online as well. : :

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at and 704-531-9988,...