AUGUST 30, 2007

At last, Ann Courtney and Marilyn Kirby of Portland will be able to form a permanent, legal parental relationship with their foster children, 10-year-old “M” and her brother, six-year-old “R”. In a unanimous decision, Maine’s Law Court issued a ruling that paves the way for the siblings to be jointly adopted by the women who have raised them for the past six years.

The children were removed from their original home in 2001, when their biological parents were no longer able to care for them. They were placed with Ann, an attorney, and Marilyn, a counselor, who quickly re-organized their lives to address the children’s multiple emotional, learning, and developmental difficulties. The children have flourished under Ann and Marilyn’s care.

“We’re ecstatic,” said Ann about the Law Court’s ruling, which stated clearly that unmarried couples are able to adopt under Maine law. “We love these kids, and their well-being means everything to us. Our daughter and son can now know that we are a family, and we’ll always be a family.”