Nancy Polikoff

How Wrong Can a Court be When It Looks at Two Moms and a Child?

Filed By Nancy Polikoff | May 19, 2008 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, The Movement
Tags: children of gay parents, lesbian mothers

Very wrong, if it's the highest court in Maryland and they are considering same-sex couples raising children.

Today the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that, after the end of an 18 year relationship that included raising a five year old child together, the mom whose name was on the child's adoption decree could exclude the mom whose name wasn't on the decree from the child's life. The court said that a "de facto" parent has no more ability that a grandparent, babysitter, teacher... or stranger to receive custody or visitation rights. The trend in the states is in the other direction... towards recognizing the reality of a child's family.

I talked about the case briefly at the end of my (previously scheduled) appearance on the Kojo Nnamdi Show today. Look for more press in the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun.

We need the Maryland legislature to pass a statute next year like the one in D.C. creating "de facto" parent status for those in this situation. As always, the National Center for Lesbian Rights keeps the best track of LGBT family legislation and litigation around the country.


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It's pretty amazing that we're even at a point where we need a law that says that a child's de facto parent is a parent. I thought that's what phrases like "the best interests of the child" were supposed to account for.