LGBTQ community concerned about Supreme Court weighing in on their marriages, families and adoptions
SAN FRANCISCO - The fallout from the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade is continuing to have ripple effects throughout the country. Some family law experts say the court's ruling could go beyond the issue of abortion and impact other parts of society.
KTVU spoke with a family-law expert who said while the recent decision will impact women, LGBTQ people looking to create their own families could also face new challenges.
Family law expert Deborah Wald says without a doubt women will bear the brunt of the decision. But, she says the decision could also impact LGBTQ couples looking to create their own families throughout assisted reproduction, including in vitro fertilization. That procedure could result in unused embryos and unknown legal implications. "I practice reproductive law, it's close to 50% of my practice, and the shockwaves for certain are going through the reproductive community because of exactly what you're raising," said Wald.
Wald says Justice Clarence Thomas went even further in his consent opinion, saying he'd like to revisit Supreme Court decisions governing access to birth control the legality of same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage; signs Wald says, that the Supreme Court is wading into the political realm. Wald says that's a sign the Supreme Court is no longer above politics. "All of our lives could be impacted, and absolutely the extent to which LGBTQ lives could be impacted if Clarence Thomas wins the day," Wald says.
Jill Jacobs works for Family Builders by Adoption, another route by which LGBTQ families are created. She says adoption should not be viewed as a viable option to legal and safe abortion. "And if people really want to adopt children, there's over 400,000 kids in foster care in this country right now as we speak," said Jacobs. "The majority of those children are children of color and they need families."
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Jacobs says the LGBTQ community is already worried about what's next. "People are terrified, and then you add to that, want to eliminate gay marriage, and that's going to question LGBTQ families adopting kids, and ironically it's most often our LGBTQ folks who step up for the sibling group of four kids," said Jacobs.
While there currently aren't any cases before the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage there are a slew of laws and bills under consideration that would impact LGBTQ rights.