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Non-biological same-sex parents face unique challenges

Child custody battles in Texas are always difficult, but same-sex custody battles come with unique challenges. Before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2015 that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional, same-sex couples still formed committed relationships and raised children together. When those relationships break up, there is often one parent who is left without any legal child custody rights.

A child custody case involving two mothers in Michigan is bringing same-sex custody issues into the public discussion. The two women in the case had a 13-year relationship and raised two daughters together. The children were conceived using donated sperm, and they only have one biological and legal mother. After the couple separated in December 2014, they co-parented for eight months until the biological mother decided she wanted to move two hours away and assert full child custody.

The attorney for the biological mother claims that the non-biological mother has no custody rights. However, the non-biological mother's attorney says that she should be able to claim custody rights over children she has parented since they were born. According to a spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union, courts should not be able to use old laws that were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court to deny parent's custody rights today.

A parent who is involved in a child custody dispute like this may want to discuss the situation with an attorney who has experience in family law matters. Legal counsel can often assist in pointing out to the court that keeping both parents involved would be in the child's best interests.

Source: YAHOO! Parenting, "Inside the Unique Battle Between Two Moms for Custody of Their Kids," Jennifer O'Neill, Dec. 9, 2015

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