National Center for Lesbian Rights

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Cases & Advocacy

Dvash-Banks v. Pompeo Amicus

Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks are a married same-sex couple who had twins through surrogacy in Canada, where they live. Each of them is the genetic father of one of the twins, but both fathers are legally-recognized as parents of the twins. Elad is an Israeli citizen and Andrew is a U.S. and Canadian dual citizen. The U.S. Consulate refused to recognize both twins as U.S. citizens because one child is not genetically tied to Andrew.

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Cases & Advocacy

In re Doe

Jane Doe is the mother of three children in a rural community in the Midwest. From a young age, Jane’s middle child expressed that they may be transgender. Jane started using a new name for her child and bought the child clothes that were more consistent with the child’s gender identity. The local child-protective services agency, however, believed that Jane’s conduct constituted abuse and neglect and removed the children from Jane’s home.

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Cases & Advocacy

Paul E. v. Courtney F.

Paul E. and Courtney F. disagreed about the appropriate response to their child’s gender dysphoria. After a week-long trial, the judge issued an opinion awarding primary custody to the father, but also ordering that the child’s then-current therapist continue treating the child. The court also appointed an expert in the mental health of transgender children to advise the parties and the court about ongoing treatment. The father appealed, claiming that the trial judge did not have the authority to make those decisions.

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Cases & Advocacy

In the Interest of A.E.

C.W. and M.N. were a married same-sex couple who decided to conceive a child using an anonymous sperm donor. Unfortunately, the couple separated during the pregnancy, but C.W. was present when their baby, A.E. was born, and was involved in A.E.’s care and support until M.N. stopped allowing her to see the baby. Even though Texas recognizes that different-sex spouses who conceive using a sperm donor are parents, the court refused to recognize C.W. as a parent.

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Cases & Advocacy

K.M.M. v. K.E.W.

Kathleen and Kate were a same-sex couple who conceived a child together through assisted reproduction. Kate gave birth to their child, who they raised together until the couple broke up when then child was almost three years old. Because Kate and Kathleen were unmarried and Kathleen did not adopt their child, Kathleen sought visitation as a so-called “third party” under Missouri law.

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Cases & Advocacy

Torrez v. Bombard

Rhonda Bombard and Sandra Torrez were a same-sex couple who had two children through assisted reproduction. Rhonda gave birth to the children, and the couple raised their children together for seven years. Rhonda then secretly moved the children to New York and cut off contact with Sandra. An Arizona trial court ordered that Sandra be given visitation with the child, but Rhonda refused to follow the order and appealed.

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Cases & Advocacy

Turner v. Steiner (Oakley)

Heather Turner and Liza Oakley were a married same-sex couple who had a child using assisted reproduction. Heather gave birth to the child and both parents were listed on the birth certificate. Heather and Liza raised the baby together, with Liza staying as the primary caregiver until they broke up the following year. In their divorce, Heather argued that Liza was not a parent.

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Cases & Advocacy

A.G. v. County of Los Angeles Amicus

A.G.’s complaint states that on January 6. 2015, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department entered A.G.’s father’s home and used a Taser on his father, who was mentally ill, because he would not stop singing in his bathroom. A.G.’s father died as a result. The California Superior Court improperly dismissed A.G.’s wrongful death claim solely because A.G.’s father was not his biological or adoptive father, even though he was A.G.’s presumed legal father under California law.

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Cases & Advocacy

Pavan v. Smith

The Arkansas Department of Health’s refusal to issue birth certificates naming both parents in a same-sex marriage violated the clear ruling of the United States Supreme Court in its 2015 marriage equality decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, which requires states to treat the marriages of same-sex couples the same as other couples’ marriages for all purposes under the law. NCLR petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 2017 overturned the decision of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

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