Robert Keefe


Gay and lesbian partners used adult adoption to create family relationships and to ensure inheritance and property rights in the decades before the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Same-sex partners who chose adult adoption as an alternative to marriage before the Obergefell decision must now dissolve the adoption in order to exercise their constitutional right to marry due to state incest laws prohibiting marriages between parents and their adopted children. It is difficult, however, to dissolve an adoption, and anecdotal evidence indicates that some judges have refused to dissolve adoptions between same sex partners. This Note argues that state legislatures should create “conversion statutes”—much like those that were used in many states to dissolve civil unions once same-sex couples could legally marry—to quickly enable adoptive same-sex couples to dissolve their adoptions and to exercise their fundamental right to marry.