BY AJ TRAGER
PONTIAC – In an unforgettable and long-awaited day in their family history, Jayne and April DeBoer formally adopted all five of their children Nov. 12 in Oakland County Circuit Court.
“Today is a historic day in the life of the DeBoer-Rowse family, all five of our kids will finally have two legal, equal parents!!!!!,” Jayne wrote on her Facebook page. “We are so happy and grateful to all of those who supported us and helped us get to this wonderful day!”
The hearing was before Judge Karen McDonald.
“I’m very honored,” she said just before finalizing the adoption documents.
Jayne and April have been together for over a decade and were the plaintiff couple in the DeBoer v. Snyder case, which challenged the same-sex marriage ban in the state. They sought to joint-adopt their children but were denied their due process under the law since Michigan law prevents any couple from jointly adopting a child if they are not married.
Their case went all the way through the federal court system to land a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year. Following a hearing in June, SCOTUS declared that states’ bans on same-sex marriages were unconstitutional and made marriage equality the law of the land.
The couple is raising five children at their Hazel Park home. For Jayne, an emergency room nurse, and April, a NICU nurse, the legal battle they fought for three years was always about their children and how Jayne and April could provide protections for them as listed legal guardians of all their kids.
The couple was officially married in August. Many companies in Michigan decided to volunteer their services and provided a wedding, entirely free of cost, for the plaintiff couple.
The road to equality was long and strenuous for Jayne and April who have been at the center of the media spotlight since late 2012. They are looking forward to a quieter life without the constant media attention.