Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Case Law Development: First Same-Sex Partner Custody Case in Montana


According to the Washington Blade, attorneys for both sides call it the first same-sex parental rights trial in Montana:

A district judge on Monday ruled in favor of a Turah woman who sought parental rights to children adopted by her former same-sex partner.  Michelle Kulstad sought joint custody of two children - an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl - adopted by Barbara Maniaci.  "To discriminate further against Ms. Kulstad because of her sexual preference in this day and age is no different than telling a person to go to the back of the bus because of her skin color," Judge Ed McLean wrote. . . .   McLean said Kulstad was a legal parent, even though Maniaci adopted the two children - the boy in 2004 and the girl in 2006. The judge also ruled that Kulstad must receive joint decision-making authority in the children's lives, including their "education, activities, health care and spiritual upbringing."

Link to full story in Washington Blade here.

(RR last visited October 4, 2008)

October 4, 2008 in Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Adoption in Florida - continued

Florida's "homosexual" adoption ban, as codified in Florida Statute section 63.042, providing "No person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is a homosexual," is again the subject of litigation. 

This time, it's a hearing in Miami in which a gay male couple is seeking to adopt two children who have been in their custody since 2004.  The law guardian supports the adoption.  Despite the constitutional challenge to the statute, however, it seems the hearing is closed to the press and public since it involves adoption. 

The Miami Herald story is here.   (A big thanks to Ricardo Pla for this lead).

Previous history of the Florida adoption ban includes a Key West judge holding the ban unconstitutional, discussed on Family Law Blog on September 12, 2008.  And it is the same statutory provision that was upheld against constitutional challenge by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Lofton v. Secretary of Dept. of Children and Family Services, 358 F.3d 804 (11th Cir. 2004), with the en banc Eleventh Circuit declining to reconsider the opinion, with concurring and dissenting opinions  in Lofton v. Secretary of Dept. of Children and Family Services, 377 F.3d 1275 (11th Cir. 2004).

RR (October 2, 2008).

October 2, 2008 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Call for Papers

Writing on Domestic Violence?  Juvenile Justice?  Sex Offenses?  Focused on NYC? 

New York City Law Review: A Call for Papers
The Legal System’s Response to Violence in New York City

The New York City Law Review -- a student-run law journal based out of the City University of New York School of Law – is currently seeking papers for our Spring 2009 symposium on the legal system’s response to violent behavior.  With a particular emphasis on violent behavior within New York City, we will critically explore the increase in criminalization, mandatory arrests, and zero tolerance policies through four panels on the areas of domestic violence, sex offenses, juvenile justice, and police brutality.  We will be highlighting progressive legal responses within the present legal system, as well as ideas for new responses both within and without the legal framework.

The symposium will take place on February 13, 2009 at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. 

If you are interested in submitting a paper, please email
by November 1, 2008 with your name, school or organizational affiliation, and an abstract of no more than 250 words describing your article.  Selected authors may be invited to serve as panelists at the symposium.  Selected articles will be published in the spring of 2009.  All completed articles must be submitted by January 1, 2009.

(RR September 29, 2008)

September 29, 2008 in Child Abuse, Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)