Court says lesbian can’t seek child custody

Posted on 06 Feb 2009 at 1:49pm
By Associated Press

Woman wasn’t legal parent, so she had no standing to petition for custody, court says

DOVER, Del. — The state Supreme Court has ruled that a lower court judge erred in granting a lesbian joint custody of her former partner’s adopted daughter.

The justices said in a unanimous ruling this week that the woman had no standing to petition for custody in Family Court because she was not the child’s legal parent.

The Supreme Court held that, under Delaware law, a person who is considered a "de facto" parent of a child does not have the same rights as a legal parent, and thus is not entitled to custody.

The justices noted that the issues in the case are not limited to unmarried same-sex partners, but they said changing the law would be a public policy decision for the General Assembly to make.

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