Quilloin v. Walcott

LOCATION:Virginia Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission

DOCKET NO.: 76-6372
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: Supreme Court of Georgia

CITATION: 434 US 246 (1978)
ARGUED: Nov 09, 1977
DECIDED: Jan 10, 1978

Thomas F. Jones – for appellees,pro hac vice, by special leave of Court
William L. Skinner – for appellant

Facts of the case


Media for Quilloin v. Walcott

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – November 09, 1977 in Quilloin v. Walcott

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – January 10, 1978 in Quilloin v. Walcott

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the court in 76-6372 Quilloin against Walcott is to be announced by Mr. justice Marshall.

Thurgood Marshall:

This case is here on appeal from the Supreme Court of Georgia.

At issue is the constitutionality of Georgia’s adoption laws as applied to deny an unwed father authority to lead to adoption of his illegitimate child.

Under Georgia law child born out of wedlock can be adopted with the consent of the mother alone, unless the father has legitimated the child.

In this case the appellant, the unwed father of the illegitimate child who had been in the custody of its mother since birth, objected to the doctrine of child by the mother’s husband and sought legitimation and formal visitation rights at that time.

After full hearing of which appellants were allowed to present evidence, all matters included to fitness as a parent, the trial court granted the adoption and denied legitimation and visitation rights on the ground that the outcome was in the best interest of the child.

The Judge of Supreme Court affirmed.

An opinion filed with the clerk we hold that the Georgia statute as applied in this case, did not deprive appellant, a Due Process or a Equal protection, a power to the substantive rights under the Due Process clause, was certified by the application of the best interest of the child and that standard following the evidentiary hearing, appellant solely protection claimed that the state was required to treat him the same as a divorced father as without marriage.

Since appellant never shouldered any significant responsibility for the child.

According to the judgment of supreme court of Georgia is affirmed.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Marshall.