photo: Flickr/Caitlin Childs

It's official: Gay adoption is legal in all 50 states! A Mississippi judge finally lifted the state's archaic 16-year ban on gay adoption.

U.S. district judge Daniel Jordan, cited the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage country-wide as reasoning for his decision, according to CNN. He said that it would be unconstitutional to uphold the ban. The ban went into effect in 2002, but has been challenged multiple times, including this past August.

The New York Times reported that last November judge Carlton W. Reeves of the United States District Court found that Mississippi did find the ruling unconstitutional, but stayed pending action until today — a move that the lawmaker who instituted the ban is fine with.   

In an editorial written for The Huffington Post in 2013, former Mississippi governor Ronnie Musgrove wrote about his own regret in supporting the ban:

There are far too many children in America in need of a loving home, who are shuttled between temporary homes and group shelters that fail to provide the stable, nurturing environment all children deserve. If you are fortunate in life, age and knowledge breed compassion. And as I have gotten older, I came to understand, that a person’s sexual orientation has absolutely nothing to do with their ability to be a good parent.
And he's right. 

Researchers estimate that anywhere from 6 to 14 million children live with a gay parent. Gay and lesbian couples parents also raise 4% of all adopted children, and more are interested in doing so.  

Laws restricting gay and lesbian couples from adopting were the only barrier since studies indicate that LGBT parents are just as good, if not better, parents than straight parents. 

Thanks to Mississippi's ban lift, all parents in any U.S. regardless of sexual orientation may adopt a child. But laws still restrict LGBT couples from fostering and there's a lot of discrimination at play (many times by religiously affiliated services) within the adoption and foster care process. 

Until then, the fight is yet to be won. 

(H/T: HuffPost)