Court Affirms Same-Sex Spouses as Parents

The Monroe County Supreme Court recently affirmed same-sex spouses are both parents to a child born during their marriage.

The state of New York, when appropriate, seeks to legitimatize the parenthood of two people who are parents to a child of their marriage. In this case, the birth mother of a child born into a same-sex marriage sought to exclude the other parent.

In the case of Wendy G-M vs Erin G-M, the couple was married in a civil ceremony in Connecticut, prior to the legality of same-sex marriage in New York. In October 2011, the couple decided to try to become pregnant and undertook the following:

  • In consent documents signed by both women, the couple authorized and requested fertility services.
  • Both women tried to become pregnant through artificial insemination for approximately two years.
  • The birth mother became pregnant and her partner ceased efforts at pregnancy.
  • Both parties were actively involved in prenatal care and breastfeeding classes, baby health classes, baby showers and doctor appointments.
  • When the child was born, the spouse was present and the couple agreed on a name. The birth mother and her spouse were listed as parents on the birth certificate of the child.

Shortly after the birth of the child, the spouse left the household to “not cause undue stress or potential other problems.” The newborn child lived with both parents for only one week. Three months later, the birth mother filed for divorce and refused to allow her partner to visit their baby.

The court, after deliberation, found that children born as a result of artificial insemination are considered the issue of a marriage.

Pregnancy and parenthood are fraught with emotion. When divorce is added, the matter quickly becomes complicated. In this case, the court upheld the right of the spouse to be considered an equal partner to the birth-mother.

Few matters are as important as those involving children. When you need aggressive legal help with a custody issue in New York, contact Bryan L. Salamone and Associates, P.C.

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