Nine years later, Khaya Searcy has two legal parents. On Friday, retired Baldwin County Circuit Court Judge James Reid granted the adoption for Cari Searcy in Mobile County Probate Court. His approval of the measure ended a winding and politically fraught legal battle for Searcy and her wife Kim McKeand, Khaya’s biological mother.
Their four-year-long quest to adopt the child led to a federal judge overturning the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage earlier this year. “It was such a surreal feeling when (Reid) said ‘it’s in the best interest of this boy to have two legal parents,'” Searcy said. “For me, that’s when I broke down. It’s very emotional and a day we’ve been waiting for a long, long time.”
Searcy first filed paperwork in Mobile County Probate Court in 2011 to legally adopt the boy, whom she has raised since birth. After a brief hearing, Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis rejected the petition in April 2012, citing the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals later upheld that decision. In February, a federal judge ruled that Searcy could not be denied her desire to adopt Khaya, clearing the way for same-sex marriage in Alabama.
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