Child custody cases seem to be getting more and more complicated. No longer is it a cut and dry case of the mother being awarded custody like as in days gone by. Authorities in San Antonio look at each couple on a case by case basis to decide what would be most beneficial for the children.
The matter has become even more complex with the rising popularity of same-sex relationships. Gay marriage is still not recognized as legal in many states. In these states, when couples split up and go their separate ways, the issue of who gets child custody can be a thorny one.
One lesbian couple that learned this the hard way was recently involved in litigation concerning parental rights of their two children. One of the women is the biological mother of the children through artificial insemination. It doesn't appear that her ex-partner had ever legally adopted the children, something that is typically not legal in the states that do not recognize same-sex marriage.
When the couple was still together, they agreed to share the responsibility of raising the children. In fact, they went as far as signing an agreement attesting to that fact. However, after they went their separate ways, the biological mother reportedly did not allow her ex-partner to see the children as much as she would have liked.
The partner fought for joint custody, and the judge ruled in her favor. This case is being seen as a milestone for gay and lesbian couples who have previously been denied custody of children who were not biologically theirs.
Source: Huffington Post, "Kansas Supreme Court Rules Non-Biological Lesbian Mother Has Same Parenting Rights As Birth Mother," Feb. 25, 2013