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Assisted Reproduction

Who Is Mom? Another California Custody Disputes Between Lesbian Partners

Professor Julie Shapiro has the details:

Here’s a case from CA that follows a path similar to one taken in a case I discussed last week. As in that earlier case, a female second parent claims parental status by invoked the gender neutral version of the holding out doctrine. The court’s discussion of that argument in this case highlights some critical points…..

Second, the court discusses the relationship of holding out to other bases for claiming parentage. (I know this part will make some people unhappy.) As to genetic connection, citing an earlier case with approval the court here says:

[L]iving with a child and treating that child as a son or daughter creates a relationship between the alleged parent and the child that is more important to the child than a biological relationship.

(Page 13.)

And as to JV’s assertion that there was no intention for EC to be a parent, it declares:

Respondent’s intent is only relevant if she manifested that intent through her conduct and precluded appellant from holding out the minor as her natural child.

(Page 17.) Both of these statements are striking to me.

Finally, and consistent with the other case I blogged about, the case confirms the determination of California courts to use holding out for both men and women claiming parentage. This is potentially a very important step and could diminish the importance of the de facto parent test that has been developed over a long series of cases. Holding out has always been easier to show, but it’s also been generally reserved for men until now.

I encourage our readers to view Julie’s entire analysis here.


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