Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The De Facto Parent - Justices Shy Away From Gay Parent's Case

Declining to hear a Washington State court case the Supreme Court said Monday it would not block a lesbian from seeking parental rights to a child she helped raise with her longtime partner. The Washington State court had held that the non-biological “mother” could pursue ties to the girl as a "de facto parent."


Eighteen states recognize "de facto parents" over the objections of fit biological parents, according to the biological mother's lawyers: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, West Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

I don’t know whether these same states recognize non-biological dads like myself as the “natural” father under the law as New York State recognizes me but if these states do not I would expect / hope that DI Dads would be afforded such status under this “de facto parent” theory. If anybody knows the answers to this question for these states please let me know.

1 comment:

KittyMaMa said...

In Minnesota, the husband is presumed to be the biological father of a child born during or with 9 months after a marriage. That presumption is very hard to change unless it is done within some many months of the child's birth. If there is a divorce there may ben an opportunity to contest paternity but with the contracts for using donor sperm, those would trump those claims. Additionally I represented a client who was divorced for several years from her husband. He did a paternity test on the kid and found out he was not the bio dad. The Judge would not make a finding of non-paternity nor would he stop the child support payments. Minnesota has strong public policy to have paternity very set early on for a child.