An international same-sex couple — living both in America and in Australia — have had their son taken away. The same-sex custody matter comes at a time when several of the men’s friends have been arrested for allegedly being associated with a child pornography ring.
According to records, the American-born man — who is now an Australian citizen — used a surrogate mother from Russia to have the child in 2005. He and the 6-year-old boy are now Australian citizens, but the family lived in America until 2008 so that the adoption was finalized. Despite their Australian citizenship, it is an American authority that has removed the child from the custody of the two men. The 6-year-old now resides in the United States with distant relatives of his biological father.
According to the authorities, three men who the couple was friends with have been connected with a child pornography ring. One of these men — a 64-year-old American — was charged with distributing underage pornography. A police sting on a peer-to-peer network discovered incriminating evidence.
Two videos uncovered by police show the 6-year-old boy, but authorities have not yet charged the two fathers with any crimes. The couple has been making appeals to Australian authorities, indicating that they were betrayed by the other men. According to the couple, the videos of their son were made without their knowledge.
Homes the couple owns in Australia and America have been raided. Documents and electronic devices were removed from the homes to be investigated. A hearing was scheduled for this month to determine whether or not American authorities will retain custody of the child.
In states such as Ohio where gay couples are not afforded the same rights as other couples, a situation like this could get ugly quickly. If the men are not charged and it is determined that they never harmed the child, then they should be allowed to retain custody.
Source: Gay News Network, “Boy removed from gay fathers amid child porn investigation,” Serkan Ozturk, Feb. 12, 2012