Coast same-sex couple one of the first in state to adopt

Coast same-sex couple one of the first in state to adopt

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Several days after a deadline passed to appeal a federal ruling against a Mississippi state ban on same-sex adoptions, a couple on the Coast is beaming.

Rebecca and Andrea Bickett are now the proud parents of 7-month-old Regan.

Although they are one of the first same-sex couples to adopt in the state, it didn't happen overnight.

"It's been a process, but it's actually been a little bit easier since we've been married," said Rebecca.

The couple got married in July 2015, less than a month after same-sex marriage was legalized. Before that, the couple adopted twin boys. However, Andrea had to adopt the boys separately.

Even after same-sex marriage was legalized, a statute remained in Mississippi that barred same sex-couples from adopting together.

"At that point it was illegal for us to adopt as a couple, so I had to adopt as a single parent," said Rebecca.

In March 2016, a U.S. District Judge issued an injunction to overturn the ban. The state had until May 2 at midnight to appeal. The deadline passed, and the ruling stands.

Andrea says would have never seen this day coming a few years ago.

"I [didn't] see marriage equality happening in our lifetime, much less being able to adopt and here we are," said Andrea.

Judge Carter Bise was pleased to make the Bicketts' adoption official.

"What it means is you've got two loving parents and a child that is loved, and wanted, and chosen," said Bise.

Attorney Dianne Ellis added, "I've got goosebumps. They are wonderful mothers, wonderful parents, beautiful child, beautiful family. This is the way it's supposed to be."

According to Ellis, standing on the forefront of the change is monumental, and she's glad that future cases will be treated the same as any other family.

"It's great that our federal courts have clarified this and cleaned up the law so that families can be made whole," said Ellis.

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