Boseman v. Jarrell

 704 S.E. 2d 494 (2010)

Case BriefRelatedOptions
From our private database of 43,000+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Boseman v. Jarrell

North Carolina Supreme Court

 704 S.E. 2d 494 (2010)


Julia Boseman (plaintiff) and Melissa Jarrell (defendant) began a romantic relationship with the intention of having a child. Boseman and Jarrell eventually decided that Jarrell would bear the child, but both would participate in the conception process. Boseman and Jarrell did everything together, including choosing a sperm donor and attending medical appointments for prenatal and postnatal care. Boseman cared for Jarrell during pregnancy and was present during delivery. Following birth, the couple held themselves out as parents and shared the burden of parenting. Their child referred to Boseman and Jarrell as mom and mother, respectively. Both Boseman and Jarrell acknowledged that the other was a good parent. In 2004 the couple set out to have Boseman adopt their child, because Jarrell was the biological and legal parent. The couple asked a district court to make Boseman an adoptive parent without terminating Jarrell’s legal status as a parent. North Carolina law (the statute) required such a termination. Nevertheless, Jarrell conceded to the adoption, and a district court entered an adoption decree, contingent on nonenforcement of the statute. The decree provided that an adoptive relationship was formed between Boseman and the child while simultaneously not severing the parent-child relationship between Jarrell and the child. Because the Division of Social Services would not index such an adoption, the court instructed the clerk not to supply a copy, as required by the statute, and ordered that the decree be maintained in the clerk’s office. In 2006 Boseman and Jarrell broke up, but Boseman continued to provide financial support for their child. Boseman filed a complaint seeking custody of the child, in reliance on the adoption decree. Jarrell responded by contending that the adoption decree was void ab initio and, consequently, Boseman could not seek custody. The trial court awarded Boseman and Jarell joint custody, reasoning that it could not invalidate an adoption decree from another judicial district. The court of appeals affirmed the ruling, finding the adoption decree to be valid. Jarrell appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Newby, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 688,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 688,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 43,000 briefs, keyed to 988 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 688,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 43,000 briefs - keyed to 988 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership