child custody

Kansas Supreme Court Rules to Protect the Interests of Children in All Families, Regardless of Parents’ Sexual Orientation

(San Francisco, CA, February 22, 2013)—Today, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that when a same-sex couple has a child together, both parents can be fully recognized as parents under Kansas state law. The court explained that Kansas parentage laws apply equally to women and non-biological parents, and that courts must consider the reality of who a child’s parents are in order to protect the interests of children. The court also ruled that an agreement to co-parent and share custody can be...


CA Governor Brown Vetoes Bill that Would Protect Children with More Than Two Parents

Governor Supports Need to Recognize These Families, But Wants More Time to Consider This Important Issue (San Francisco, CA, September 30, 2012)—Today, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have protected children who have more than two parents. In his veto message, Governor Brown explained that he was sympathetic to the need to protect children in these families but wanted more time to consider the issue. Authored by Senator Mark Leno, Senate Bill 1476 was co-sponsored by...


CA Bill to Advance Children’s Best Interests Passes State Assembly

(San Francisco, CA, August 27, 2012)—Today, the California Assembly voted 51-26 in support of Senate Bill 1476, which will allow judges to recognize the reality that some children have more than two parents. This bill makes it possible for a third parent—such as a gay father who is raising a child with a lesbian couple—to have legal rights and responsibilities to protect and provide care for the child. The bill provides that when more than two adults meet the criteria to be a legal parent...


New Mexico Supreme Court Establishes Important Parenting Protections for Non-Biological Mothers

(San Francisco, CA, June 1, 2012)—Today, the New Mexico Supreme Court issued a decision recognizing important new protections for non-biological mothers who are raising children with a same-sex partner. The Court held that a woman who raises a child with another woman and assumes parental and financial responsibility for the child can be a legal parent under New Mexico law, just as a male parent would be, regardless of whether she is a biological parent. National Center for Lesbian Rights...


Bill Clarifies a Judge’s Ability to Protect Best Interests of a Child Who Has Relationships With More Than Two Parents

(Sacramento, CA, February 24, 2012)—Senator Mark Leno today introduced legislation that reaffirms a family court judge’s ability to recognize parent-child relationships based on the evidence and what is in the best interests of the child. SB 1476 modernizes state law by giving courts the flexibility to protect children who have parent-child relationships with more than two people. A California judge recently ruled that it was in the best interests of a child to recognize that she had a...


California Law Protects Our Families

There are thousands of children being raised by non-biological parents, and they deserve to be treated fairly. Yesterday, a California appeals court ruled that these families are protected under California law. A case called E.C. v. J.V. recognized the rights of a non-biological mother who had raised a child with her same-sex partner for five years. The court rightly said that what matters is the relationship that the child and the parent have with each other, even if they aren’t biologically...


NCLR Hails Landmark Inter-American Commission of Human Rights Decision

Decision finds Chile violated lesbian’s human rights (Santiago, Chile, April 8, 2010 — The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) hails a landmark decision by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) rebuking a Chilean Supreme Court ruling in which a woman lost custody of her children for the sole reason that she is a lesbian. The IACHR found that “the Chilean state had violated Karen Atala Riffo’s right to live free from discrimination” when it revoked Atala’s custody of...


NCLR Settles Same-Sex Parent Custody Dispute

(San Francisco, CA, March 5, 2010) — Today the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) announced the resolution of the custody dispute between Kim Smith and Maggie Quale in Santa Cruz, California. While in a committed relationship, Smith and Quale had twins together using donated sperm. The dispute arose when the couple separated and Quale, who had given birth to the twins, challenged Smith’s parental rights. Under the settlement, both women are recognized as legal parents of their twins....


U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Decision Protecting Children Born to Same-Sex Couples

California Court of Appeal ruling stands; Lesbian mother’s parental rights upheld (San Francisco, CA, February 22, 2010) — Today, the United States Supreme Court denied review in a custody dispute involving a non-biological lesbian mother whose former partner, the child’s biological mother, was seeking to strip her of any parental rights. “I am so grateful that my relationship with my six-year-old daughter is legally protected,” said Charisma. “I love my daughter dearly, and I am relieved the...


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