Utah Supreme Court clears way for adoption by partners of same-sex spouses
Jason Howe, 48, and Adrian Perez (L), 48, who were married in Spain, and again in California, hold their one-year-old twin daughters Clara (R) and Olivia at a playground in West Hollywood, California after the United States Supreme court ruled on California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act on June 26, 2013. Photo by Lucy Nicholson for Reuters.

The Utah Supreme Court on Thursday lifted an order that had blocked spouses in same-sex marriages from adopting their partners' children, state officials said.


The state's highest court had imposed a stay on the adoptions in May, while Utah appealed a federal ruling last year that permitted same-sex marriages for 17 days before the Supreme Court halted them pending appeal.

Earlier this month, after the U.S. Supreme Court denied appeals of same-sex marriage bans and an appeals court reaffirmed its order making same-sex marriage legal in the state, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes ordered county clerks to recognize all legally performed same-sex marriages.

On the same day, Reyes petitioned the state Supreme Court to remove its stay of the adoptions, saying the issue was now moot.

Missy Larsen, a spokeswoman for Reyes, said the high court's action on Thursday came in response to that petition.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, Calif.; Editing by Peter Cooney)