Lesbian Mother Fights to Have Gay Adoption Declared Void in Georgia

By Meg Jalsevac

  ATLANTA, March 26, 2007 ( – Sara Wheeler is a lesbian currently in a bitter custody battle with her ex-partner over her own 7 year old biological son.  Sara is arguing that the 2002 gay adoption that she originally sought for her partner was not legal and should not be recognized. 

  Sara Wheeler and her lesbian partner, Melody Wheeler, decided to start a family together in 2000.  Sara underwent artificial insemination and gave birth to a son who Melody then officially adopted in 2002.  Since that time, Sara and Melody have split and are now involved in a custody battle for the little boy with Sara claiming that homosexual adoption is not valid under Georgia law and that Melody’s parental rights should be revoked.

  To this day, Georgia law does not explicitly allow or forbid homosexual adoption. However, according to state law, a stepparent is the legal spouse of a biological parent and a constitutional ban on homosexual marriage was overwhelmingly upheld by the voters of Georgia in 2004.   Presently, it is left up to the presiding individual judge to decide if a homosexual couple should be permitted to adopt a child on a case by case basis. 

  In 2004, Sara filed a lawsuit to have the adoption thrown out with the same DeKalb county court that first approved the adoption back in 2002. That court rejected her case as did the Court of Appeals.  Sara then took her case to the Georgia Supreme Court.

  In February of this year, the Georgia Supreme Court voted 4-3 to not hear her suit.  However, the court did not elaborate on the rights of homosexual couples to adopt – leaving the issue without a state-wide legal principle. 

  Sara’s attorney, Anthony Zezima, commented on the high court’s recent ruling saying, “They just decided not to decide.  Right now, if a gay couple adopt each other’s children, they don’t know if it’s going to be accepted [by the court] or not … and most judges throughout Georgia are not going to grant these types of adoption. It’s a Never-never Land — nobody knows what they can do.” 

  The dissenting opinion in the matter was written by Supreme Court Justice George Carley and condemned the court’s decision to not hear the case.  Carley considered the matter a “case of great concern, gravity and public importance.”  The opinion continued, “Whether a person who has never been, and indeed cannot be, a spouse of the living parent may nevertheless adopt the child, while that parent still retains all her rights, is an important issue.”

  Justice Carley was joined by Justices Hugh Thompson and Harold Melton to comprise the 3 dissenting votes.

  Melody’s attorneys argue that the case is not about homosexual adoption – it is about the rights of a mother.  Sara agrees but asserts that she is the little boy’s only mother.  “Before I’m anything — gay or lesbian — I’m a mother,” she says. “And the most important thing is to make sure my son has a relationship with his biological mother.” 

  Although being warned that her court battle could adversely affect the entire homosexual community in Georgia, Sara defended her actions saying, “I’m not doing anything else a mother wouldn’t do to fight for her son.  Some people may think it’s the unthinkable, but if they were put in my shoes, they’d do the same thing.” 

  Sara has faced harsh criticism from the homosexual community.  An editor for the local gay newspaper condemned Sara for embattling the entire homosexual community saying, “We owe it to each other not to lash out in ways that damage the entire gay community.  Your own family may be destroyed, but don’t destroy ours, too.”

  For now, the two women have worked out a visitation system so that the little boy spends time with each of them throughout the week until the custody dispute can be resolved.

  Since the start of the case, Sara has ceased dating and does not mix in the homosexual community much anymore.  She says that she is rethinking her sexual orientation and says, “I just don’t feel comfortable in that scene.  I’m just trying to figure it all out.”

  As reported by, Dawn Stefanowicz who is now an advocate for traditional marriage and family values, was also raised in a homosexual home situation.  Stefanowicz frequently gives testimony to the psychological, emotional and physical distress that can be caused to a child raised in a homosexual home.

  Describing her father’s homosexual lifestyle as a culture without “boundaries and principles of morality and monogamy,” Stefanowicz said her upbringing was characterized by confusion and lack of affection, domestic violence and sexual abuse. 

  Read Previous Coverage:
“Gay” Subculture Left Woman Scarred from Childhood in Homosexual Home

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