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Old 10-11-2021, 05:48 PM
 
Location: DMV Area/NYC/Honolulu
23,836 posts, read 11,704,773 times
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Quote:
Two Alaska women will share custody of their son, after the biological mother lost her court fight for sole custody, according to a state Supreme Court decision published Friday.

The decision is the first of its kind in Alaska involving a same-sex couple. It relies on legal precedent from similar child custody battles between men and women, in which the non-biological parent is deemed a “psychological parent” and retains custody.

Susan Orlansky, the attorney representing the winning plaintiff in the case, says the justices agreed with her that the existing precedent on who should be considered a psychological parent also applies to non-biological parents in same-sex couples.

“Like my client, who’s not the biological parent, but who has functioned for many years as a day-to-day parent, has a way of going into court and relying on well-established law in this state to have a claim to continue custody of the child once the parents split,” Orlansky said.

According to the Supreme Court’s published decision, here’s what happened:

The two women were in a committed relationship for 14 years. Prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage — in 2014 in Alaska and 2015 nationwide — they held a commitment ceremony. They never married, and later, after they had a child via artificial insemination, the non-biological mother never formally adopted the child.
https://www.alaskapublic.org/2021/10...le-that-split/

Firstly, let me say that I didn't know this was a thing, regardless of the sexual orientation of the parties involved. I had never before heard of "psychological parent."

I find it extremely disturbing that a non-biological parent who never adopted a child can make a lawful claim for custody, shared or otherwise, on account of having been a "psychological parent." Sure, if we are looking at the best interests of the child, the concept of psychological parent makes sense, but I wonder how many of these cases backfire, with the child coming to see his/her biological parent and the now-ex becoming increasingly nasty with one another.

I'm really stunned by this concept.
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Old 10-12-2021, 12:25 PM
 
254 posts, read 407,148 times
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sounds like this concept is similar to a common law marriage.
a partner in a marriage by common law (which recognized unions created by mutual agreement and public behavior), not by a civil or ecclesiastical ceremony
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Old 10-12-2021, 04:26 PM
 
Location: DMV Area/NYC/Honolulu
23,836 posts, read 11,704,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josmyth View Post
sounds like this concept is similar to a common law marriage.
a partner in a marriage by common law (which recognized unions created by mutual agreement and public behavior), not by a civil or ecclesiastical ceremony
I guess I didn't think of it that way, but that could make sense. I will say, though, at least in the common law marriage case, there is an understanding that partners hold themselves out to be a married couple.
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Old 10-12-2021, 10:59 PM
 
6,091 posts, read 9,368,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post
I guess I didn't think of it that way, but that could make sense. I will say, though, at least in the common law marriage case, there is an understanding that partners hold themselves out to be a married couple.
Did you read the whole article? They were clearly in a lengthy committed relationship.
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Old 10-13-2021, 05:52 AM
 
Location: DMV Area/NYC/Honolulu
23,836 posts, read 11,704,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazkat9696 View Post
Did you read the whole article? They were clearly in a lengthy committed relationship.
Which was noted in my original post. But that doesn't change my position on the matter. If I'm in a committed relationship with someone with who doesn't adopt my child and where we never marry, the very fact that we were in a committed relationship (and they developed a psychological bond with my child) should give someone custody rights over my child? It's just that point that is objectionable to me.

I really didn't know this was a thing until I read this.
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Old 10-13-2021, 11:11 AM
 
1,126 posts, read 1,116,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post
https://www.alaskapublic.org/2021/10...le-that-split/

Firstly, let me say that I didn't know this was a thing, regardless of the sexual orientation of the parties involved. I had never before heard of "psychological parent."

I find it extremely disturbing that a non-biological parent who never adopted a child can make a lawful claim for custody, shared or otherwise, on account of having been a "psychological parent." Sure, if we are looking at the best interests of the child, the concept of psychological parent makes sense, but I wonder how many of these cases backfire, with the child coming to see his/her biological parent and the now-ex becoming increasingly nasty with one another.

I'm really stunned by this concept.
In cases where the custody of a child has to be determined, the ONLY thing that matters is what is in the best interest of the child. Conceiving a child does not make the child your property. Parenting has nothing to do with birthing. If the biological child of any child is not best suited to be the custodial parent, they should be be made so simply because they conceived the child or delivered it. Same sex relationships should be by treated any differently. The child should be with the parent best set to raise it. This is all that should matter.
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Old 10-13-2021, 02:52 PM
 
Location: DMV Area/NYC/Honolulu
23,836 posts, read 11,704,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.strangelove View Post
In cases where the custody of a child has to be determined, the ONLY thing that matters is what is in the best interest of the child. Conceiving a child does not make the child your property. Parenting has nothing to do with birthing. If the biological child of any child is not best suited to be the custodial parent, they should be be made so simply because they conceived the child or delivered it. Same sex relationships should be by treated any differently. The child should be with the parent best set to raise it. This is all that should matter.
I touched briefly on best interests in my OP. But best interests is subjective. As an example, it may be in the best interest of a child from a broken home in the hood to be raised by a nun from the Little Sisters of the Poor. But a complete stranger couldn't come in and demand to raise a child because it would be in their best interests. Children aren't property of parents and biology doesn't mean one will be a good parent, but biological parents do have rights (absent being taken away). If the concept of best interests is applied without limit as the only thing that matters, then I ask where are we going to draw the line? It all sounds good as a concept, but I argue that this isn't actually what we have in every situation purporting to be. Sure, the concept of a psychological parent tries to narrow the scope of such an outcome, but it's still very troublesome to me.

Of course, the law is inconsistent on this, too, and there is no one "best interest" standard; politics has also gotten in the way. On the one hand, we have the general best interest standard that most are familiar with (and even here, things are subjective). But, and going to the subjective point that I made, we have laws like the Indian Child Welfare Act, which assume that it is in the best interests of an Indian child to be raised by other Indians over (even if there is no connection) over a non-Indian who may have a strong connection to a child when it comes to placement preferences.

As long as we are going by this subjective point, my position is that such arrangements like the one in the OP should not be granted so long as the biological parent (and biology does give one greater legal rights to raise and care for a child, though such a presumption can be overcome in certain circumstances) is capable of providing for a child. Will it be in the best interest of a child to see their parent in distress over such an arrangement? Biology may not matter to some, but it does factor into the psyche of many, young and old.

It just seems off to me that, because I dated someone and they developed a bond with my child(ren), I'm possibly tied to them regarding decisions on child upbringing, which may even limit where I can move, etc. Even though I may be a completely fit and capable parent myself.
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Old 10-13-2021, 04:55 PM
 
6,091 posts, read 9,368,596 times
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This was much more than dating. They were in a committed relationship and we’re the only parents this child had even known. He calls both of them different names for mom. It’s also very difficult if not impossible as a same sex couple to have the non-biological parent adopt the child. It was against the law in most states until recently.

Would you have so much trouble with this if it was not a same sex couple? Also how is it in the best interest of the child to remove a parent who has been with the child for years? Even the other mom initially let the boy have visits. Then she cut it off. It sounds more like parental alienation than anything else.
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Old 10-13-2021, 09:21 PM
 
Location: DMV Area/NYC/Honolulu
23,836 posts, read 11,704,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazkat9696 View Post
This was much more than dating. They were in a committed relationship and we’re the only parents this child had even known. He calls both of them different names for mom. It’s also very difficult if not impossible as a same sex couple to have the non-biological parent adopt the child. It was against the law in most states until recently.

Would you have so much trouble with this if it was not a same sex couple? Also how is it in the best interest of the child to remove a parent who has been with the child for years? Even the other mom initially let the boy have visits. Then she cut it off. It sounds more like parental alienation than anything else.
Sexual orientation is irrelevant to me here for this discussion, but I don't know why this is a question being asked as I showed no bias toward sexual orientation in any of my posts.

I respect your and others' opinion on this matter. I'm just floored that someone can stake a claim for custody on account of having been in a relationship with a biological parent and having developed a bond with the offspring of a biological parent.

Taking a look at some of the psychological parent laws at play, though, I see that one of the requirements (although not exclusively) is that there has to have been an understanding that a psychological parent was understood by all parties to have been playing the role of a parent. It makes sense on paper, but I feel like it's a slippery slope in many ways, too.
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Old 10-13-2021, 11:52 PM
 
Location: NJ
18,485 posts, read 26,568,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post
Which was noted in my original post. But that doesn't change my position on the matter. If I'm in a committed relationship with someone with who doesn't adopt my child and where we never marry, the very fact that we were in a committed relationship (and they developed a psychological bond with my child) should give someone custody rights over my child? It's just that point that is objectionable to me.

I really didn't know this was a thing until I read this.

I agree. If I've been in a relationship with someone, raising their child with them, when we break up, should I be allowed to file for custody or joint custody?



Quote:
Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post
Sexual orientation is irrelevant to me here for this discussion, but I don't know why this is a question being asked as I showed no bias toward sexual orientation in any of my posts.

I respect your and others' opinion on this matter. I'm just floored that someone can stake a claim for custody on account of having been in a relationship with a biological parent and having developed a bond with the offspring of a biological parent.

Taking a look at some of the psychological parent laws at play, though, I see that one of the requirements (although not exclusively) is that there has to have been an understanding that a psychological parent was understood by all parties to have been playing the role of a parent. It makes sense on paper, but I feel like it's a slippery slope in many ways, too.

I agree, it is a very slippery slope.

My question is why didn't she adopt him? Was it not legal to?

Unfortunately, I'm not seeing any other articles that tell more of the story.
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