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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules Against Non-Bio Mom

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Friday that a lesbian non-bio mom had no parental rights over the five-year-old daughter she and her former partner had agreed to raise together. The women separated before marriage was an option for them. Although they were listed as “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” at the fertility clinic they used, the non-bio mom never adopted the child. The Boston Globe relates the Court’s position:

Same-sex couples who fall out of love while raising children must abide by the same legal rules as any other dissolving couples: What counts in the court system are birth certificates, marriage licenses, adoption papers, or proof that you share equally in the nurturing of the youngsters.

The Globe goes on to say:

A lesbian from Middlesex County put forward some novel legal theories to establish her parental role. She said she deserved to be a legal parent because she and her former partner had effectively formed an agreement to raise a child together. She also argued she should be, at least, a de facto parent with visitation rights, because what she lacked in time with the child she gave in money as the primary breadwinner.

The Court disagreed:

The court also said the woman, who toiled long hours as codirector of a nonprofit organization, did not spend enough time caring for the child to establish her parental rights while the biological mother tended to most of the caretaking.

Novel legal theories? Let’s see . . . how many opposite-sex couples agree to have a child together, with one person as the primary caregiver and the other the primary breadwinner? How many employed straight men (and it is primarily men) see their children only briefly each day, and some days not at all?

The bio mom now plans to end the temporary court-mandated visitation.

(Crossposted from Mombian, where I also discuss two other recent custody cases involving non-bio moms.)

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