Thursday, July 19, 2007

Three Legal Parents

"SOMETIMES when the earth shudders it doesn’t make a sound. That’s what happened in Harrisburg, Pa., recently.

On April 30, a state Superior Court panel ruled that a child can have three legal parents. The case, Jacob v. Shultz-Jacob, involved two lesbians who were the legal co-parents of two children conceived with sperm donated by a friend. The panel held that the sperm donor and both women were all liable for child support. Arthur S. Leonard, a professor at New York Law School, observed, “I’m unaware of any other state appellate court that has found that a child has, simultaneously, three adults who are financially obligated to the child’s support and are also entitled to visitation.”

The case follows a similar decision handed down by a provincial court in Ontario in January. In what appeared to be the first such ruling in any Western nation, the court ruled that a boy can legally have three parents. In that case the biological mother and father had parental rights and wished for the biological mother’s lesbian partner, who functions as the boy’s second mother, to have such rights as well."

N.Y Times Opinion Link to Article (last visited 7-18-07 NVS)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2007/07/three-legal-par.html

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Comments

There have been other 3 parent cases. In Louisiana there is the concept of dual paternity. Elsewhere, where there are 2 fathers under law, a court (usually via best interests analysis) chooses one.

Posted by: jeff parness | Jul 20, 2007 9:53:25 AM

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