RESOLUTION TO JOIN AS AMICUS CURIAE FOR IN RE ADOPTION OF RBF & RCF 59 WAP 2001 AND CCG & ZCG 60 WAP 2001 SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

WHEREAS, the adoption of children offers legal entitlements, family permanency, and emotional stability to children in need of parents; and

WHEREAS, thousands of children, including many with special physical and emotional needs, wait for adoption in our nation's child welfare systems and in orphanages around the world; and

WHEREAS, the two companion cases of IN RE: RBF and RCF, Appeal of BAF and CHF and IN RE: CCG and ZCG, Appeal of JCG, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania have been accepted for review by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and present to the Court important issues of constitutional law and statutory construction which will impact upon the rights of children and parents in a class of cases known as "second-parent adoptions;" and

WHEREAS, second-parent adoption involves the adoption of a child by that child's "second" parental caregiver, following the child's birth to or adoption by the child's "first" parent, which second-parent adoption occurs with the consent of the first parent and is approved by a court of law as in the best interests of the child; and

WHEREAS, without second-parent adoption many children will face deprivation of or lack of access to health care and health insurance coverage, inheritance rights, Social Security survivorship and disability benefits, and the certainty of legally recognized parents in their lives, and many parents and potential parents face denial of the fundamental liberty of parenting; and

WHEREAS, second-parent adoption is a matter of compelling interest to the Philadelphia legal community and has received widespread support and interest from the organized bar, including the unanimous endorsement of the Family Law Section and Delivery of Legal Services Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association; and

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association has unanimously supported the American Bar Association Resolution 109B, which resolved to "support. . .the enactment of laws and implementation of public policy that provide that sexual orientation shall not be a bar to adoption when the adoption is determined to be in the best interests of the child." Report of the American Bar Association, Resolution 109B (adopted by House of Delegates, February 8, 1999); and

WHEREAS, in recognition of the compelling issues of law and practice implicated by this case, dozens of local and national child advocacy, civil rights, religious, legal and social service organizations have joined the briefs amicus curiae of the Support Center for Child Advocates, the Women's Law Project and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association shall join as amicus curiae the briefs of the Support Center for Child Advocates, the Women's Law Project and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights in IN RE: RBF and RCF, Appeal of BAF and CHF and IN RE: CCG and ZCG, Appeal of JCG.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: September 20, 2001