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Women Sue To Stop Ban On Adoption By Gay Couples

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The three adopted children. (Facebook photo, used with permission)

The three adopted children. (Facebook photo, used with permission)

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HAZEL PARK (WWJ/AP) – Two women are suing the state of Michigan to try to overturn a state ban on adoption by unmarried couples.

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse each have adopted children on their own. But they’d like to adopt the children as a couple, which is an option only for heterosexual married couples.

The women are nurses who live together with three children in Hazel Park, a Detroit suburb.

The Michigan Constitution bans same-sex marriage, and a separate law bans adoption by unmarried couples. The lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Detroit claims the women’s civil rights are being violated.

DeBoer has adopted two children, and Rowse has one. In each case, the biological parents were unable to care for the kids.

Speaking to WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil, Rowse said problems arise when the children don’t have two legal parents.

“At a hospital, if April would take one of the boys, they could actually, you know, refuse care until the physical or the hospital got a hold of me to approve care,” Rowe said.

But do children of gay couples face a stigma? DeBoer said she hasn’t noticed it.

“Our son goes to school for physical and occupational therapy and, based on his reception there, he’s only two though, the teachers don’t look at us any differently and the students that are in there don’t look at him any differently,” she said.

The couple’s attorney Dana Nessel says numerous studies show children of same sex parents do not turn out any differently than those raised by heterosexual couples.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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