Well, it took nine years, but finally Khaya Searcy has his two moms.
Last week, after a four-year long battle to adopt a child, retired Alabama Circuit Court Judge James Reid granted the adoption of Khaya Searcy by Cari Searcy, the wife of Khaya’s biological mother, Kim McKeand.
Most ironic of all, however, is that even though all these two women wanted was to have both of them recognized as Khaya’s parents, that simple request — which turned out to be not so simple — was what spurred a federal judge to overturn Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage. Now, Cari and Kim are legally married in their state, and are both the legal parents of their child.
"It was such a surreal feeling when (Reid) said 'it's in the best interest of this boy to have two legal parents.' For me, that's when I broke down. It's very emotional and a day we've been waiting for a long, long time." — Cari Searcy
Back in 2011, Cari Searcy first filed paperwork in Mobile County Probate Court to legally adopt Khaya, whom she has raised since birth, but a year later, after a brief hearing, Judge Don Davis rejected the petition because, you know, The Gays and marriage wasn’t happening in Alabama.
In February 2015, a federal judge ruled that Searcy could not be denied her desire to adopt Khaya, a ruling that paved the way for same-sex marriage in Alabama, but a few hours before the law legalizing same-sex marriage was to begin, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered the state's probate judges to withhold same-sex marriage licenses pending the Supreme Court decision on the matter.
Cari Searcy filed another lawsuit because Judge Davis would not give final approval of the adoption until the Supreme Court case resolved the same-sex marriage issue. When Davis recused himself from the case, citing a second lawsuit, the adoption was put into limbo until Judge Moore could appoint a judge.
And in what I’d call full-circle moment of irony, Chief Justice Moore, one of the most virulent same-sex marriage opponents, appointed Judge Reid to oversee the case, and Reid granted the adoption.
So, nine years after Khaya was born, and five years after his mom sued to be his legal mother, Cari and Kim are now legally recognized as his parents; and, because of Cari’s quest to be a parent, we have now come to full equality on the marriage equality front.
It’s funny how one fight, one question, one adoption, could lead to so much change.