Judge: Non-bio mom in lesbian divorce is child’s legal parent

Lauren Poole

Lauren Poole

Virginia Beach, Va. Circuit Judge Steven Frucci has ruled in a lesbian divorce case there involving custody of a child that even though she contributed no DNA, the non-biological mom is a legal parent of the child to whom her now-former wife gave birth.

To rule otherwise, Frucci said, would make “every child born in a same-sex marriage a bastard, and I’m not about to do that,” according to The Virginian-Pilot.

Lauren Poole, 29, and Karen Poole, 31, both of Virginia Beach, were married in Maryland in August 2013, before same-sex marriage was legally recognized in Virginia. They used sperm donated by a male friend to impregnate Karen, using the at-home “turkey baster” method. Lauren, Karen and the sperm donor signed an agreement before the baby — a boy — was born that released the sperm donor from any responsibility and named Lauren as the child’s second parent.

The baby was born in July 2014, but six months later — as their relationship began to fail — Laurent moved out of the family’s home. She visited the baby several times a week until she and Karen got into an altercation, after which Karen took out a protective order against Lauren that prevented her from seeing the baby.

Lauren Poole then filed for divorce, leading to the just-settled battle in Frucci’s court.

Wanting children, they enlisted a male friend to act as a sperm donor, impregnating Karen Poole with an at-home artificial insemination technique commonly known as the “turkey baster” method, according to written arguments filed by both sides.

After the pregnancy was confirmed, the three signed an agreement to release the donor from parental responsibility and name Lauren Poole as the child’s second parent.

The baby – a boy – was born in July 2014 at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital.

Six months later, the couple’s marriage was unraveling and Lauren Poole moved out of the family’s home. For the next few months, she visited the baby several times a week until an altercation led Karen Poole to take out a protective order that stopped all contact.

Lauren Poole filed for divorce and a fight for custody began. As the battle over custody continues, Frucci says one question is definitely settled: From here on out, Lauren Pool will be treated as the legal parent of a legitimate child.

—  Tammye Nash

BREAKING: Utah judge reverses order removing child from lesbians’ care

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April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce

Utah Judge Scott Johansen has signed an order allowing lesbian foster parents April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce to retain custody of the 9-month-old child of whom they have had custody for three months, according to an Associated Press report from Salt Lake City.

The reversal came after widespread backlash following Johansen’s order Tuesday that the child be removed from Hoagland and Peirce’s home. The couple and Utah state officials had immediately filed challenges demanding Johansen rescind that order.

Johansen initially said the child should be removed from the lesbian couple’s custody because research shows that children do better when raised by heterosexual parents. That claim flies in the face of all reputable studies on the subject. And the American Psychological Association has said there’s no scientific basis for the claim that gay couples are unfit parents just based on sexual orientation.

—  Tammye Nash

Oklahoma Supreme Court allows same-sex parents to seek custody

oklahoma-marriageThe Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled today (Wednesday, Nov. 12) that non-biological parents in a same-sex relationship can seek custody of children they raised based on an agreement to parent together.

The decision found there is no public policy in Oklahoma against a child having same-sex parents, and if a biological parent jointly conceives children with a non-biological parent and then raises those children together, she cannot deny the other parent the ability to seek custody or visitation based on their agreement.

“We applaud the Oklahoma Supreme Court for recognizing that when two parents raise a child together, both parents should be allowed to seek custody, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or biological ties,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights Family Law Director Cathy Sakimura. “This decision recognizes that every child’s best interests must be protected when their parents break up, no matter what their family looks like.”

Julie Eldredge and Karen Taylor were in a long-term relationship and entered a civil union in New Zealand. They jointly decided to have two children through donor insemination, and they raised the children together for seven years until Karen, the biological mother, unilaterally cut off contact between Julie and the children. Julie sought shared custody of the children, but the trial court denied her petition for lack of standing.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that Eldredge is able to seek custody based on the parties’ agreement to parent the children, so long as custody is in the best interests of the children. The court also noted that same-sex parents in Oklahoma may obtain second-parent adoptions, where the non-biological parent may adopt without terminating the biological parent’s rights, but that same-sex parents who do not adopt may still seek custody based on an agreement.

“The public policy of this state mandates that the district court consider the best interests of the children before they lose one of the only two parents they have ever known,” the court wrote in its ruling.

“The real winners here are the children, whose rights to have loving parents are protected,” said Melody Huckaby Rowlett, attorney for Eldredge.

—  David Taffet

Ellis County Observer publisher Joey Dauben finally gets a court-appointed attorney

Joey Dauben

Joey Dauben, the publisher of the now-defunct Ellis County Observer, finally got to see a court-appointed lawyer this week to help him fight the three felony counts of child sexual abuse that have kept him in the Navarro County Jail without legal advice for almost two months now.

Edward Jendrzey, whose office is in Waxahachie in Ellis County, received the court-ordered appointment Thursday, Feb. 16. Jendrzey accepted the case after Steve Keathley, a Corsicana attorney whose wife is the president of the Navarro County Bar Association, declined an appointment by District Court Judge James Lagomarsino to represent the journalist.

In a telephone interview today, Jendrzey said, “Yes, he knows I’m representing him,” when asked whether he had met with his new client, who reached out for help from the media this week in a handwritten letter from jail. When a defendant declares himself to be indigent and asks for a court-appointed attorney, that is supposed to occur within 72 hours. In the letter, Dauben also again claimed he is innocent of the charges.

Jendrzey said his first step in Dauben’s representation will be to conduct an independent investigation of the case to learn the circumstances and to attempt to get Dauben’s $200,000 bond set by Lagomarsino lowered. “I’ll be meeting with the prosecutor about that,” Jendrzey said. Dauben’s family and friends have been unable to raise the 10 percent (or $20,000) payment bond agencies typically charge to get a defendant released from jail.

—  admin

As we prep our Family Life section, another non-bio lesbian mom loses access to child

We here at Dallas Voice are hard at work this week getting ready to publish our first-ever Family Life special section. That’s why this news story about a non-bio lesbian mom in Ohio losing access to her child had a special resonance for me this week.

Michelle Hobbs and Kelly Mullen had a child together in 2005, with Mullen as the biological mother who conceived through in vitro. But even though Mullen had signed a health-care power of attorney, a general durable power of attorney and will where she nominated Hobbs as the child’s guardian, when the two women split up, Mullen still decided to cut off contact between Hobbs and her child. And on Tuesday, the Ohio Supreme Court said Mullen could get away with that.

(By the way, the two women took out a second mortgage on the home they owned to pay for the in vitro fertilization process.)

Justice Robert Cupp, writing the opinion for the majority in the 4-3 decision, said, “Hobbs was a nonparent under Ohio law despite her active role in raising and caring for the child.” The court also said that because Mullen never finalized Hobbs’ parental rights in a legally binding contract, she had the right to end Hobbs’ parental role with the child when the two women split.

This, of course, isn’t the only case where a biological parent decided to cut off a non-bio parent’s access to children the two had raised together. But it seems especially timely to me, given the special section we are getting ready to publish. So if you and your partner have — or are considering having — children, be sure and check out Friday’s issue of Dallas Voice. We’ll have information in that issue on legal ways to protect yourself, your partner and your children, as well as other articles pertaining to various aspects of “family life” in all its forms in the LGBT community.

—  admin

Custody Battle Heads to Top Mich. Court

RENEE HARMON X390 (FAIR) | ADVOCATE.COMThe Michigan supreme court will decide next month whether it will hear
a case from a lesbian who is requesting joint custody of her
nonbiological children that she and her former partner raised together
until September 2009.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Arrest warrant issued for Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller
Lisa Miller

An arrest warrant has been issued for Lisa Miller, according to Associated Press.

Miller is the woman who had a child with her partner, Janet Jenkins, in Vermont. When the couple split, Miller moved to Virginia, hooked up with Jerry Falwell’s church and has defied the Vermont family court’s orders ever since.

A Virginia court ruled that the Vermont court had jurisdiction in the case. The Vermont judge first ruled that Jenkins had visitation rights. When Miller defied the orders, the judge in the case ordered full custody for Jenkins.

In December, Miller disappeared. The child was to have gone to Jenkins on Jan. 1. The judge gave Miller until this week to appear in court. When she did not appear, the judge ordered her arrest.games mobi downloadреклама гугл на сайт

—  David Taffet

Lisa Miller given 30 days to appear in court

Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller

The judge in the Lisa Miller custody case has given Miller 30 days to appear in court. He could have issued a contempt of court citation.

Miller was the biological mother of a child she had while in a relationship with Janet Jenkins. The couple lived in Vermont.

Within a year of their daughter’s birth, Miller ended the relationship and moved to Virginia where she became involved with Jerry Falwell’s church. Jenkins sued for joint custody and won. Miller refused to abide by earlier court rulings and the Vermont family court judge changed full custody to Jenkins. A Virginia court ruled that the Vermont court had full jurisdiction in the case.

On Jan. 1, the transfer of custody was to have taken place. Miller and their daughter have not been seen since the beginning of December.

The judge set a Feb. 23 court date. If Miller does not appear in court, he could issue an arrest warrant.раскрутка веб сайтараскрутка видео на ютубе

—  David Taffet

Another lesbian custody case

Everyone is wondering where Lisa Miller is hiding out with her daughter Isabella to avoid having to relinquish custody of the child to her former partner — and Isabella’s other mother — Janet Jenkins of Vermont.

But out on the West Coast, in Santa Cruz, Calif., Kim T. Smith and Maggie Quale have a custody matter of their own on their minds right now.

According to MercuryNews.com, Smith and Quale are former partners who had twin boys together through artificial insemination. The babies are now 10 months old, and since their birth, Smith and Quale have split up and Quale is now romantically involved with the man who was the sperm donor for the babies, Shawn Wallace.

Smith and Quale never registered as domestic partners with the state, but both Smith and Quale are listed as the babies’ parents on their birth certificates, and the babies have hyphenated last name of Quale-Smith. Smith wants joint custody, but Quale and Wallace say they should get to be the little boys’ only parents.

Family law attorney Deborah Wald, who is representating Smith along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said if Quale and Wallace win the custody battle it would set a “dangerous precedent for lesbians having children with assistance of known sperm donors.”

Quale’s lawyer, Darlene Kemp, says the case has nothing to do with sexual orientation or LGBT rights, and is just a legal dispute between two parties. She says Smith does not meet the legal criteria of a presumed parent.

Well, I am not sure what the legal criteria for being a “presumed parent” are in California. But surely the fact that Smith is listed as a parent on the babies’ birth certificate and the babies share her last name should carry some weight!

I am also wondering when the right-wingers are going to latch onto this case, as they have to the Jenkins-Miller case. Isn’t it funny how the same people who attack us for going against “traditional values” are the people who do their best to keep up from following those values by getting married and loving and caring for our children?сайтрассылка объявлений в интернет

—  admin

Contempt of court hearing scheduled for Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller
Lisa Miller

A hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 22 in Rutland, Vermont, to have Lisa Miller held in contempt of court, according to the Burlington Free Press.

Miller and Janet Jenkins were civil union partners who had a child together. Miller was the birth mother. The couple split up a year after the child was born and Miller moved to Virginia.

A family court in Vermont gave the couple joint custody of the child, but Miller refused to comply. A Virginia court ruled that the Vermont court did have jurisdiction in the case. The Vermont court transferred custody to Jenkins and the child was supposed to be turned over on Jan. 1. Miller has not been seen since the beginning of December.

When Miller moved to Virginia, she announced she was no longer a lesbian and she joined Jerry Falwell’s church.

In November, after Miller was ordered to tranfer custody, she told Newsweek, “There is a homosexual agenda at work here, and Isabella is a pawn in their game. It has nothing to do with the law. Isabella was saved at age 4, loves God, and knows what’s right and what’s wrong. We don’t hate Janet. We pray for her soul and salvation.”

Jenkins said, “My goal has never been to separate Isabella from Lisa. I just want Isabella to know and love both of her parents. I just want to be with her, like any parent.”mailcrackerконтекстная реклама сайта стоимость

—  David Taffet