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Woman says she is child's parent, challenges adoption

An adoption case involving a former same-sex couple may be of interest to Pennsylvania residents. A woman is challenging the adoption of a 9-year-old girl by the girl's new stepdad because the woman claims that she is the child's parent. The girl's biological mother argues that although the woman helped raise the girl for the first four years of her life, she was never actually the child's parent.

Prior to the step dad's adoption petition, the child's biological mother was in a same-sex relationship. In 2006, she used a sperm donor to become pregnant. When the child was born, she was given the same middle and last name as the biological mother's same-sex partner, and both women lived with the child until their relationship ended in 2011. The biological mother later married a man and cut off contact with her former partner.

When the woman claiming to be the child's non-biological parent first contested the adoption, the family court ruled in her favor. However, the state appeals court later reversed that decision. The Kentucky Supreme Court is now scheduled to hear the adoption case that is bringing up a lot of questions about the parental rights of 'de facto parents."

Despite the U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, many same-sex parents continue to lose their parental rights when their children are not biologically related to them. A person who is going through a same-sex divorce involving children may want to talk to a lawyer who is familiar with the legal issues relating to same-sex couples and divorce. A lawyer may be able to help a parent understand how to assert the parental rights that may be available.

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