National Center for Lesbian Rights

Cases & Advocacy

McGaw v. McGaw

Status: Closed

Outcome: Victory

Location: Missouri

Melissa and Angela McGaw are two women who were in a long term relationship and had twins through donor insemination. The couple chose the sperm donor together and parented the children together for more than nine years. After the parents later broke up, the biological mother, Angela, kept Melissa from seeing the children. Melissa sought custody of the children in Missouri, where the family lives, and was denied. Melissa appealed the denial.

The Western District Court of Appeals in Missouri ruled on August 18, 2015 that an unmarried non-biological parent can seek custody and visitation with the children she raised with her same-sex partner.

Melissa is represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Missouri attorneys Rochelle Kaskowitz, Elizabeth Hodges, and Aaron House.

The ACLU of Missouri and twenty-one family law professors filed amici briefs in support of Melissa.

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