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FERNDALE – The landmark case of the Hazel Park couple that is suing the State of Michigan and Oakland County for the right to jointly adopt their children and to be married is making its way up through the court system, and the legal bills are piling up.
April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse live together with their three children, each adopted by only one of the women, as Michigan does not allow unmarried couples to jointly adopt. Because Michigan also has a constitutional ban on same-gender marriage, they cannot fulfill that requirement to become joint legal parents.
The case is being heard in the Federal Court Eastern District by Hon. Bernard A. Friedman, and even though his ruling is expected in October, both sides have already stated they intend to appeal whatever the ruling to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. After that appeal the case could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
And while that is promising for the family and other families throughout Michigan, it is also an expensive battle.
Natalie Mosher of Canton is one of many people who have stepped up to donate to the couple’s legal fund. And now Mosher is asking the community at large to get involved. She’s set up a special fundraiser on Sept. 26 at Affirmations in Ferndale. The evening will highlight Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy as keynote speaker (who has adopted children herself), the lesbian couple and their children.
“We are in a unique time in Michigan’s history,” said Mosher who is running for a seat in the Michigan State House in 2014. “Currently our state legislature is passing a lot of legislation that looks like it is directed at adults but ultimately is impacting our children. We must not sacrifice the health and education of our next generation. We need to fight for them, there are so many at-risk kids in our state, winning this case could mean a lot of those kids will find stable, safe and nurturing homes. This is about the kids and their future,” Mosher said.
A special host committee reception will start at 6 p.m., with the main event from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Donation levels range from $50 to $1,000. Those who wish to attend should contact Mosher for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.