Same-sex relationships have been in the spotlight for some time now, often inciting different feelings in different people. The legal realm for same-sex relationships is still rather messy with varying laws based on the states in which the involved people reside. A recent announcement from the Ohio Supreme Court showcases such differences, as it declined to hear a case involving a potential child custody agreement between two women who were once together.
In 2005, one of the women gave birth to a child. The couple cared for the child together, but broke up in 2008. In 2009, the mother’s former partner filed for custody of the child. But since then, the mother has married a man who legally adopted the child. The biological mother of the child acknowledges that the two women raised the child for the first three years of her daughter’s life, but this acknowledgement did not grant the mother’s former partner parental rights.
In order for her to have received parental rights, the two women would have to have entered into a shared custody agreement. This did not happen, but despite this, she won a custody ruling after she filed in 2009 in Franklin County Juvenile Court. The decision was appealed, and the juvenile court’s decision was ruled against. In her response, she noted that she filed for custody before the newly married couple filed for adoption-she said that the adoption should not have negated her parental rights.
Still, the court of appeals ruled that the finalized adoption created a new family for the girl. By doing this, the adoption cut any legal or parental ties that were previously held. In an attempt to have the appeal overturned, the woman asked the Ohio Supreme Court to hear her case. By declining to hear it, the highest court in the state has solidified the appeals decision.
Source: Columbus Dispatch, “Court won’t hear case for lesbian ex-partner’s custody rights,” Rita Price, Jan. 26, 2013