Nancy Polikoff

Louisiana court deprives child of her second mom

Filed By Nancy Polikoff | June 12, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: artificial insemination, children of lesbian mothers, lesbian parents, Louisiana, second mom

Add Louisiana to the list of states willing to deprive a child of her mother...and her brother.

This week the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal ruled in Black v. Simms that Kimberlee Black is not entitled to joint custody of Braelyn, the child that she co-raised for six years. (Her parents helped raise the child, too, as the couple and their children lived with Black's parents for about two years.) That effectively deprives Braelyn of contact with her younger brother, Eli, who is Black's biological child.

Both children were born to Black and her partner, Kimberly Simms, using donor semen. The court refers only to Braelyn's biological mom, Simms, as Braelyn's parent. That makes Black a non-parent who had to prove "substantial harm" to Braelyn from full custody with her biological mother. The court said, "Plain and simple, Ms. Simms is the mother of Braelyn and has the right to direct how Braelyn is raised."

The court-ordered counselor testified that Braelyn believed she had two mothers and that Braelyn's "view of dependability and predictably would be threatened if she did not reestablish her relationship with her psychological family." But the court goes on to say that the counselor "did admit that a parent is not unfit because they decide that a child can no longer associate with a family friend that has been close to the family for years." (emphasis mine).

Family friend? Is that how the court would refer to the husband of a woman giving birth using donor semen? Of course not! See my post for the type of laws we need to keep this from happening. In the mean time, the Braelyns of this world suffer from the unwillingness of courts to see the families that lesbian couples create.

crossposted at Beyond Straight and Gay Marriage


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diddlygrl | June 12, 2009 9:51 PM

Don't you know, this was the Christian thing to do.

Yet another reminder of why I am so happy that Phyllis and her mom moved here when we got married, instead of the kids and me moving to New Orleans (one of my favorite cities in the world).

Stories like this make my stomach turn. Thank you for continuing to bring them to wider attention.

Do you know if Black will appeal further?

As I understand it, appealing further is under consideration, but it's not decided yet.

Problems such as this is a very difficult problem, but the policy should be decided is the best for the psychological development of children involved ........

This means the lgbt people of LA and our allies need to speak out and vote and support the glbt organizations already working for the cause of equal rights. Get a copy of Gayellow Page's list and find one to work with.

NON BIO MOMS.. YOUR NOT ALONE.. write for support, legal references and help..

nonbiomom@yahoo.com

The Truth | July 16, 2009 5:59 PM

Does anyone ever consider that there just might be another side to this story? Everyone vocuses on the fact that this is a gay relationship and yet they don't have all the facts about the case. I know both of these personally and I can assure you that the right decision was made, finally! This case should have never happened in the first place. It just shows how corrupt our legal system truly is..... Kim Black has a very long mental health record and a very long drug abuse record. Not only that, her current partner is also a drug addict. If you as a parent could honestly allow your child to go and stay with this person without supervison, then maybe you need to be evaluated yourself! Mrs. Simms tried very hard to allow her child to have a relationship with these people and yet, was never allowed the same with Ms. Blacks birth child. WHo, he also considered Mrs. Simms his other mother. Like I said, there is always two sides to a story. What happened here was not even about gay and lesbian issues. I am also a lesbian, so I feel I have a right to speak out on this case. I would be more than happy to tell the truth about what really happened if anyone wants to look beyond their noses and stop holloring gay rights all the time!!

No one says the nonbiological mother should win all the time, just that the law needed to treat these two parents as parents on an equal playing field. Then let the bio mom present her evidence and let the judge decide based on the child's best interest. There are reasons why parents are denied contact with their children -- they just have to be good reasons. A ruling that only one parent is a parent is an anti-gay ruling.

Ok....this is significantly past due, bit, Id like to speak up. I AM the non bio Mom in this case, and the ignorant, ranting one above does NOT know me, or any of my Family. She is (now, this is just a hunch), simply the next person my Ex partner found to latch onto, and corrupt with stories of a childhood tormented, and apparently an adulthood the like. Match.com.is a fantastic place for people to really get to know another.
Anyway....I, not an uninformed third party, would love to clarify this case , for anyone who questions it.
I am not crazy, or on drugs, or vendictive....I am a Mother...its as simple as that. I love my Daughter, that will never change. Not because of any close minded, selfish, ignorant fools, who continue to be fooled by the pitiful lies of another. I DO agree...there IS always another side to any story. Always...so, of you are going to bark.that, apply it to your life as well.
The truth is.....a bitter woman, a bitter, ill, selfish woman ripped a Family apart, tore two biologically Children from.each others life, for her own reasons...NOT for the safety of her child, or herself as she claims, but because she did not continue to rule all around her, the children or.the adults. The Court did not award me exparte custodynof pur Daughter because my Family was any sprt of a risk. I was granted tempory custody because NO adult should be allowed to rip childrens lives apart, over and over again, because life isnt on their terms.
I absolutely invite any and everyone to read this case..Read it all...especially the judgement. You see...even the judge voiced distatse with his own ruling. This IS an equal rights issue, absolutely. If I were biologically related, I have NO doubt I would have half, if not full custody of my.little girl, who is 11 now...Growing up, away from her Brother and Mama Kim because of backwards laws in this state of ours.
This may be pointless, as these postings were 2 years past. But, I have not, and will not stopnlooking, searching, Preaying for a way to be with my Chi Chi, and see those precious babies holding hands again.

Ok....this is significantly past due, bit, Id like to speak up. I AM the non bio Mom in this case, and the ignorant, ranting one above does NOT know me, or any of my Family. She is (now, this is just a hunch), simply the next person my Ex partner found to latch onto, and corrupt with stories of a childhood tormented, and apparently an adulthood the like. Match.com.is a fantastic place for people to really get to know another.
Anyway....I, not an uninformed third party, would love to clarify this case , for anyone who questions it.
I am not crazy, or on drugs, or vendictive....I am a Mother...its as simple as that. I love my Daughter, that will never change. Not because of any close minded, selfish, ignorant fools, who continue to be fooled by the pitiful lies of another. I DO agree...there IS always another side to any story. Always...so, of you are going to bark.that, apply it to your life as well.
The truth is.....a bitter woman, a bitter, ill, selfish woman ripped a Family apart, tore two biologically Children from.each others life, for her own reasons...NOT for the safety of her child, or herself as she claims, but because she did not continue to rule all around her, the children or.the adults. The Court did not award me exparte custodynof pur Daughter because my Family was any sprt of a risk. I was granted tempory custody because NO adult should be allowed to rip childrens lives apart, over and over again, because life isnt on their terms.
I absolutely invite any and everyone to read this case..Read it all...especially the judgement. You see...even the judge voiced distatse with his own ruling. This IS an equal rights issue, absolutely. If I were biologically related, I have NO doubt I would have half, if not full custody of my.little girl, who is 11 now...Growing up, away from her Brother and Mama Kim because of backwards laws in this state of ours.
This may be pointless, as these postings were 2 years past. But, I have not, and will not stopnlooking, searching, Preaying for a way to be with my Chi Chi, and see those precious babies holding hands again.