Author Topic: First Lesbian child custody dispute  (Read 1476 times)

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Offline CaseAgainstFaith

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First Lesbian child custody dispute
« on: January 05, 2012, 01:52:40 pm »
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Tina's biological daughter turned 8 this week, but she has not seen the girl since Dec. 22, 2008, because of a custody fight with her former lesbian partner. The partner is unrelated to the child, but gave birth to her.

"I thought I'd have her back on her birthday," said Tina, a law enforcement officer, whose name was never on the birth certificate and who has been denied parenting rights under Florida state law.

For 11 years, the Brevard County couple forged a committed relationship, living together, sharing their finances and raising a daughter. Tina's egg was fertilized with donor sperm and implanted in her partner's womb.

But when their romance fell apart when the child was 2, the Florida courts had to decide, who is the legal parent, the biological mother or the birth mother who carried the unrelated child for nine months in her womb?

A trial court summarily sided with Tina's ex-partner, citing Florida statute. "The judge said, 'It breaks my heart, but this is the law,'" according to the birth mother's lawyer, Robert J. Wheelock of Orlando.

But on Dec. 23, a state appeals court rejected the law as antiquated and recognized both women as legal parents.

Citing the case as "unique," the 5th District Court of Appeal ruled that both the U.S. and Florida constitutions trump Florida's law, according to the Orlando Sentinel, which first reported the story.

http://news.yahoo.com/biological-mom-kept-child-lesbian-legal-case-223154903--abc-news.html

This is a interesting case.  Since they basically lived together and all that, why don't the courts treat this like when hetero couples break up and give visitation rights and child support payments to one who doesn't win the court battle or would that just be too simple?
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Re: First Lesbian child custody dispute
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 02:47:23 pm »
This goes well beyond simply being a lesbian child dispute, the biological mother and birth mother are two different people. That doesn't often come up in a breakup of a relationship and the legal implications may well break down into semantics.

But it does seem like there was some dickery involved in the relationship and custody battle that generally get the kid assigned to one or the other on a lasting basis, without visitation. That whole wandering off with the kid thing could be written off as kidnapping and has been in at least one case I've read about recently.

Offline Kit Walker

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Re: First Lesbian child custody dispute
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2012, 03:15:16 pm »
 
This is a interesting case.  Since they basically lived together and all that, why don't the courts treat this like when hetero couples break up and give visitation rights and child support payments to one who doesn't win the court battle or would that just be too simple?

Because the law probably doesn't have an existing framework for this case. It is not exactly a standard custody case (where two biological parents clash), it is not exactly a surrogacy case (as the two were in a relationship and intent to raise the child together), nor is either parent demonstrably unfit (apparently). The law just hasn't been set up to deal with the unique issues of the modern family.
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Offline Meshakhad

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Re: First Lesbian child custody dispute
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2012, 04:29:16 pm »
I recall hearing about a case where rather than assign custody to one parent or the other, the judge decided that they were equally at fault. He then gave the house to the kids, and the parents alternate living there. His justification was "Why should the kids have to constantly switch houses? The divorce wasn't their fault!"
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Offline ironbite

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Re: First Lesbian child custody dispute
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2012, 06:24:07 pm »
http://news.yahoo.com/biological-mom-kept-child-lesbian-legal-case-223154903--abc-news.html

This is a interesting case.  Since they basically lived together and all that, why don't the courts treat this like when hetero couples break up and give visitation rights and child support payments to one who doesn't win the court battle or would that just be too simple?


Because gays aren't like hetero couples therefore they shouldn't be given the same rights and other things "normal" people get when they divorce/fundiereasoning.

But yeah I really hope there's a happy ending here.  No parent should be separated from their child due to the stupidity of the courts.

Ironbite-unless they're unfit to be a parent of course.

Offline DasFuchs

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Re: First Lesbian child custody dispute
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2012, 09:30:56 pm »
I recall hearing about a case where rather than assign custody to one parent or the other, the judge decided that they were equally at fault. He then gave the house to the kids, and the parents alternate living there. His justification was "Why should the kids have to constantly switch houses? The divorce wasn't their fault!"

That's awesome.


I coulda sworn I heard about a case like this years ago. Whether the same one or not, I'm not sure
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Offline Kit Walker

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Re: First Lesbian child custody dispute
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 10:20:19 am »
But yeah I really hope there's a happy ending here.  No parent should be separated from their child due to the stupidity of the courts.

Ironbite-unless they're unfit to be a parent of course.

The stupidity or short-sightedness of the legislatures. The courts can only interpret and follow the laws they're given. I'd imagine the case law for the rights biological non-birth mothers who aren't on the birth certificate (excepting situations where there's a surrogacy agreement, which doesn't fit here because I doubt two people in love signed contracts with each other) is pretty sparse. Under the eyes of the law, sofarasIcantelandlIamnotalawyer, she'd be little more than an egg donor.
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