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Same-sex spouse attempts to strip other of parental rights

A recent decision made by a judge in a state that allows same-sex marriage has affirmed the parental rights of a woman who was once married to her female partner. An appeals decision reaffirmed the ruling in the same-sex custody matter. This outcome may be very important for other same-sex couples, such as those living in Ohio.

The two women -- before they were wed -- decided to use artificial insemination so that they could raise a child together. After the insemination occurred, the couple married and the child was born.

Due to this fact, laws in the state where the two were wed dictated that the child belonged to both women. The law says that any artificially conceived child born during wedlock belongs equally to both parents, regardless of whether they are heterosexual or homosexual.

One woman had tried to strip the other parent of her rights during their divorce proceedings. During the divorce litigation, a court-appointed official visited with the child and found that both parents were important to the child and loved equally.

For Ohio residents, unfortunately there appears to be little hope that same-sex marriage will be approved anytime soon. In Ohio, a partner in a same-sex relationship who wishes to have equal parenting rights of the biological parent can get a co-custody agreement, which gives the same rights as biological or adoptive parents.

Since same-sex marriage is not allowed, there is no divorce, and thus no laws about child custody for those couples. The co-custody arrangement can help protect a parent's rights if the relationship ends or the partner who is the child's biological parent dies.

Source:, "Same-sex parents share role, court says," John R. Ellement, Feb. 3, 2012

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