FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | June 15, 2006
(Frankfort, KY, June 15, 2006) — "We are disappointed for this individual parent and her child, who have been cut off from each other despite years of enjoying a parent-child relationship," said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "However, we are relieved the court left the door open for future claims by same sex parents under the statute when the second parent can show that she was a primary caretaker. That will depend on the facts in each case. Here the Supreme Court was bound by the trial court's factual finding that the second parent was the primary financial supporter, but did not provide equal caretaking."
B.F. and T.D., a lesbian couple, were in a committed relationship for seven years. When their attempts to get pregnant were unsuccessful, the couple decided to adopt. Because the availability of second parent adoptions is unclear in Kentucky, only T.D. adopted the child. For the next six years, the couple raised their child together. After the couple separated, however, T.D. cut off all contact between B.F. and the child, forcing B.F. to file for visitation. Both the trial court and the Kentucky Court of Appeals held that B.F. was not a de facto parent under the statute, which requires that a person must be a child's "primary caretaker." The Kentucky Supreme Court agreed to review the case. On June 15, 2006, the Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed the decision below holding that, based on the facts of the case, B.F. did not meet the statutory standard for being a de facto parent.
B.F. is represented by NCLR and local counsel Bryan D. Gatewood.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal resource center committed to advancing the rights and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. We can be reached through our website at www.nclrights.org.