The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday reversed an Alabama Supreme Court order denying a lesbian mother visitation rights to her three children.

The two women involved in the case – referred to in court documents as V.L. and E.L. – split in 2011, but were together for about 17 years. While they live in Alabama, in 2007 they set up a temporary home in Georgia thinking that the state would be more accommodating to their adoption request.

On September 18, 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court issued an order refusing to recognize V.L.'s Georgia adoption order and declaring it void, stripping her of all visitation rights.

“I have been my children's mother in every way for their whole lives,” said the adoptive mother in a statement. “I thought that adopting them meant that we would be able to be together always. When the Alabama court said my adoption was invalid and I wasn't their mother, I didn't think I could go on.”

In its opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the Alabama court had violated Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, known as the “full faith and credit” clause.

“A state may not disregard the judgment of a sister state because it disagrees with the reasoning underlying the judgment or deems it to be wrong on the merits,” the court stated.

V.L. was represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

“The Supreme Court's reversal of Alabama's unprecedented decision to void an adoption from another state is a victory not only for our client but for thousands of adopted families,” said NCLR Family Law Director Cathy Sakimura. “No adoptive parent or child should have to face the uncertainty and loss of being separated years after their adoption just because another state's court disagrees with the law that was applied in their adoption.”