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Court rules in lesbian couple's child custody case

In Massachusetts and elsewhere, divorces between couples with children can sometimes be more difficult than those between couples without children. This can be especially true if the child is only biologically related to one parent, as is the case for some gay and lesbian couples. In these types of child custody cases, it may be left up to the courts to decide if one or both parents should be awarded custody. 

Recently, courts recognized the parental rights of a woman who's ex-wife had given birth via artificial insemination during their marriage. It was determined that even though the couple separated and eventually divorced only a few months after the child's birth, the woman did have a parental relationship with the child. Since the ruling, both women have shared custody and parenting responsibilities. 

The biological mother's attorney argued that his client's ex-wife should not be recognized as the child's parent because she had not formerly taken guardianship of or adopted the child. However, the courts disagreed. Both women were present at the birth of the child and are listed as co-parents on the child's birth certificate. They also both took time off of work to care for the child after she was born. Also, their daughter, now 4 years old, refers to both women as "mom."

Child custody cases can be difficult and messy if the parents are unwilling to get along with one another. They are only made more difficult if one of the parents is not a blood relation of the child. Seeking the help of an attorney could benefit Massachusetts residents who are going through a divorce and are having difficulty coming to a custody agreement.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "After lesbian couple splits, court rules nonbiological parent has right to child ex-wife carried", Robert McCoppin, May 1, 2018

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