Tag Archives: parental rights

Raising Arizona Babies

Arizona Supreme Court in McLaughlin v. Jones was asked an increasingly familiar question: Does the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which held that it was unconstitutional for states to withhold the right to marry from same-sex couples, mean that male and female spouses must be presumed the legal parents of children born during the marriage? This court, unlike some others, answered a simple question with a simple answer: Yes. Let me explain the straightforward way in which the court reached that result.

Kimberly and Suzan legally married in California in 2008 and decided to have a family. Suzan unsuccessfully attempted to become pregnant with donor sperm, Kimberly successfully conceived and gave birth to a son in 2011.  The two women entered into a joint parenting agreement in which Kimberly agreed that she intended her wife to be an equal parent, sharing all rights and responsibilities for their son. After the child’s birth, Kimberly returned to work as a physician, while Suzan stayed home as the primary caregiver.  But when the two women broke up, Kimberly moved out of the joint home, with the child in tow.

 

Why Lesbian Co-Parents Still Live in Limbo

Although the parenting rights of people in same-sex couples have generally been on the rise—particularly in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges and the legalization nationwide of marriage by same-sex couples.  But a recent opinion from the Idaho Supreme Court, Doe v. Doe, is a reminder that the rights of lesbian co-parents remain in uncertain, particularly for couples who are not married. This case also illustrates the role the U.S. Constitution plays both in protecting parental rights and allocating them.

In the Idaho case, two women, known only as “Jane Doe” and “Jane Doe I” were in a non-marital, romantic relationship for four years before agreeing to start a family using an anonymous donor. Jane Doe I conceived and gave birth to a child, raised jointly with Jane Doe.  The court quickly relabels Jane Doe I as “Mother” and Jane Doe as “Partner,” presaging its legal conclusion that only one of these women—Mother—has rights to the child they jointly planned for and raised. According to the court, without the consent of “Mother,” “Partner” has no right to maintain a relationship with the child.

 

Resources
From Verdict
“Might as Well Carry a Purse with That Mask, Joe”: COVID-19, Toxic Masculinity, and the Sad State of National Politics When President Trump returned to the White House after four days in Walter Reed Hospital due to contracting COVID-19, his first act was to remove his ...
In Ruth We Trust: How the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Can Promote Women’s Equal Citizenship and Justice Ginsburg’s Legacy Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last week at the age of 87, left a legacy that will be felt for generations. As an advocate, then judge, and the...
Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics U.S. Senator Ted Cruz Takes to the Internet with False Claims about Childbirth and Abortion Rather than using his position of power to help people cope with the raging COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has declared war on med...
View More
Tweets
Joanna Grossman
10/21/2020
Joanna Grossman
10/21/2020
Joanna Grossman
10/21/2020
Joanna Grossman
10/21/2020
From the Blog
Raising Arizona Babies Arizona Supreme Court in McLaughlin v. Jones was asked an increasingly familiar question: Does the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges ...
Why Lesbian Co-Parents Still Live in Limbo Although the parenting rights of people in same-sex couples have generally been on the rise—particularly in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2015 rulin...
So Many Unanswered Questions about ART Assisted reproductive technology (ART) surrounds us. Courts are certainly not strangers to the parentage questions that can arise out from situations ...
View More
Publications
Nine to Five: How Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Continue to Define the American Workplace
Nine to Five: How Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Continue to Define the American Workplace

by Joanna L. Grossman

Buy
Inside the Castle: Law and the Family in 20th Century America
Inside the Castle: Law and the Family in 20th Century America

by Joanna L. Grossman and Lawrence M. Friedman

Buy
Gender & Law: Theory, Doctrine, Commentary, 7th Edition
Gender & Law: Theory, Doctrine, Commentary, 7th Edition

by Katherine T. Bartlett, Deborah L. Rhode, and Joanna L. Grossman

Buy
Family Law in New York
Family Law in New York

Edited by Barbara Stark and Joanna L. Grossman

Buy
Gender Equality Dimensions of Women's Equal Citizenship
Gender Equality Dimensions of Women's Equal Citizenship

Edited by Linda C. McClain and Joanna L. Grossman

Buy