National Center for Lesbian Rights

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custody restrictions

NCLR Applauds California Ruling Recognizing Same-Sex Parent of Adopted Children as a Legal Parent

(San Francisco, CA, December 7, 2011)—The case was brought by a woman, known as S.Y., who raised two children with her former same-sex partner. The children were legally adopted only by S.Y.’s partner, S.B. S.Y. did not adopt the children, primarily because she was in the military and could have been discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” if the military learned about her family. The Court of Appeal, applying longstanding California law, ruled last week that S.Y. should be recognized as a...

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California Governor Signs Bill Strengthening Parental Rights for Non-Biological Parents

(San Francisco, August 5, 2011)—Today, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Protection of Parent-Child Relationships Act (AB 1349). Authored by Assemblymember Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) and sponsored by Equality California and the Association of California Adoption Lawyers (ACAL), the law allows the courts to determine who a child’s parents are in cases where there is both a non-biological parent and a man who has signed a voluntary declaration of paternity. “Parenting is more than just...

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Legal Experts Urge Supreme Court to Address Discrimination Against Children with Unmarried Adoptive Parents

(San Francisco, August 9, 2011)—Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP filed an amicus brief on behalf of leading family law, constitutional law and conflict of laws professors and legal experts asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals holding that Louisiana can discriminate against children born in Louisiana and adopted by unmarried parents in other states by refusing to issue them accurate birth certificates....

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In re J.D.F.

T.L. and D.F., a lesbian couple, planned to have a child together. D.F. gave birth to their child, J.D.F. In order to protect the child’s relationship with both parents, the couple entered into a court-approved joint custody agreement. Several years later, T.L. and D.F. separated and agreed to share custody. But in 2004, Ohio’s anti-LGBTQ constitutional amendment excluding same-sex couples from marriage was passed. D.F. began to prevent T.L. from seeing their child, arguing that...

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Johnson v. SooHoo

Marilyn Johnson and Nancy SooHoo raised two children together while living in Minnesota. When the couple broke up, Johnson unilaterally cut off contact between SooHoo and the children. The Minnesota Supreme Court held in 2007 that SooHoo was a person “in loco parentis” who had a parent-child relationship with the children, and found that it was in the children’s best interest to have visitation with SooHoo, whom they called “mommy.” In 2008, Johnson moved the...

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Jones v. Barlow

In a decision issued on February 16, 2007, the Utah Supreme Court reversed three decades of Utah case law holding that courts may protect children’s relationships with non-biological parents. Keri Jones and Cheryl Barlow had a child together in Utah using alternative insemination. After they separated, Barlow tried to keep Jones from having any contact with their child. In 2004, a Utah trial court granted Jones visitation. Barlow, who is represented by an anti-gay legal organization,...

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Supreme Court Rules on Title VII! Give now & Celebrate!