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Parents in life, strangers on paper

In a "Crucial Conversation" event, NC Policy Watch, the ACLU of North Carolina and Equality North Carolina speaks with 2 families about how North Carolina laws barring second-parent adoption and same-sex marriage jeopardizes families and children.

Featuring Chris Brook, Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation; Chris Sgro, Executive Director of Equality North Carolina; and parents Chantelle Fisher-Borne, Marcie Fisher-Borne, Shawn Long and Craig Johnson, plaintiffs in Fisher-Borne v. Smith, a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s bans on second-parent adoption and marriage for same-sex couples on behalf of six North Carolina families.

In North Carolina, same-sex couples are legally prohibited from sharing custody of their own children. For thousands of families across the state with two moms or two dads, this means that only one parent is able to be the legally recognized guardian of the biological or adoptive children that they and their partners are raising together. To the state, the other parent is a legal stranger — a parent in heart, body and mind, but not on paper.