The Nevada Supreme Court has unanimously affirmed a District Court decision granting a gay man paternity over a child adopted by his former partner. Four members of the court based their June 22 ruling on the concept of “equitable adoption,” while the other three based their ruling on an interpretation of the state’s “presumption of paternity” under Nevada’s parentage statute, NRS 126.041. The case is Nguyen v. Boynes, 2017 Nev. Adv. Rep. 32, 2017 Nev. LEXIS 45, 2017 WL 2733779. Justice Ron D. Parraguirre wrote the opinion for the majority of the court, and Justice Lidia S. Stiglich wrote for the concurring justices.
Ken Nguyen and Rob Boynes began dating in November 2009. “At some time during the relationship,” wrote Justice Parraguirre, “a decision was made to adopt a child.” They approached Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, but that organization would not arrange joint adoptions for same-sex couples, so the men agreed that Ken would adopt the child and then Rob would later initiate a second-parent adoption. They went through Catholic Charities’ procedure beginning in July 2012, and in February 2013, Catholic Charities notified Ken that it was placing a newborn child with him for adoption. Both men “were present to receive the newborn child,” and both participated as parents after the placement.