Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Two legally unmarried lesbian moms split 1.5 years ago. They had two children. Mom A. remained in house. Mom B. moved. Mom A.

Q:  Gave birth to a Child A. Girl 5yrs old. Child A. stays with Mom A. 90%. (M-F and every other wknd) Mom B. Legally Adopted Child A. and sees Child 4-6x mon. (every other wknd). Mom B. Gave birth to Child B. Girl 2.5 yrs old. Child B. moved with Mom B. into new house 1 year ago. and is with her 90% of the time. (M-F & every other wknd) Mom A. is on birth certificate for Child B. but did not adopt. Each mom has decided to be financially responsible for their own biological child & has been already for one year. Artificial insemination was used with the same anonymous donor through cryobank. The division of time and finances were agreed upon mutually by word only w/ the visitation changing by need as arises. I am Mom A. Please advise what my Legal rights & responsibilities are to Child B.

A:  David's Answer:  Preliminarily, as you posted this under "child custody," you may wish to re-post under "Child Support." That said, merely having your name on the birth certificate does not create a legal relationship with a child - only an "acknowledgment of paternity" does so. If there is not acknowledgment of paternity and quite obviously you wouldn't be the "biological father," then the only argument left is that of equitable estoppel. Unless there is a change in the law, however, the current law in NY is that equitable estoppel cannot create a parental relationship with a child in which the only relation to the biological parent is that of a homosexual relationship. That said, in light of the "changing times," it's likely someone will attempt to argue for new law in this area. If you do not wish to be seen as the parent for Child B, then don't visit Child B, don't provide support, etc. For a full assessment, schedule a consultation with a NYC Family Law attorney.  --  David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

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