A lesbian couple raising three children has sued to overturn Michigan's ban on adoption by unmarried couples.
April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are longtime partners and nurses raising three kids in suburban Detroit. Under state law, they can't adopt them as a couple, an option available only to heterosexual married couples, the AP reported.
"Jayne and I love our children as deeply as any other parent loves their kids," DeBoer said in a statement. "We just want our children to have the same protections all other children have so that our kids know they can never be taken from either of us."
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Detroit claims the women's civil rights are being violated. By adopting as a couple, DeBoer and Rowse would be confident that the children would be cared for in case of death or another emergency, the lawsuit states.
The children, ages 3 and under, were born to biological parents who couldn't care for them.
"Michigan's law prohibiting second parent adoptions by unmarried persons serves no legitimate government interest. ...The undisputed sociological and psychological evidence demonstrates that unmarried persons, straight, gay or lesbian, are no less loving, caring and effective parents than those parents who are married to each other," the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit names Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette as defendants.
"We have not seen the suit yet, but our job is to enforce and defend all laws as enacted by the Legislature," Schuette spokesman John Sellek said. "Any changes to a law would have to originate in the Legislature."