Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Missouri LGBT Parental Victory

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has won an appeal on behalf of Kathleen M., a lesbian mother in Missouri who has been allowed to seek shared custody or visitation with her son. In the case K.M.M. v. K.E.W., the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District ruled that a non-biological parent who raised a child from birth can seek custody or visitation. Kathleen M. & Kate W. were in a committed lesbian relationship & had a child through assisted reproduction using an anonymous sperm donor in 2011. Kathleen & Kate raised their son as a family for nearly four years. The parties separated in 2015 & Kate stopped allowing Kathleen to see their child. Kathleen sought custody & visitation in 2015, which the trial court denied. Kathleen M. stated, “I am so grateful for even the possibility that I can hold my son again. I hope this decision will help other parents like me so that no parent or their child will have to experience this heartbreak.” Catherine Sakimura NCLR Family Law Director added, “All children & their parents deserve to be treated as a family. What matters is the love & care a parent gives to her child, not biology.” Michelle Spirn, who also represented Kathleen M. concluded, “The Court of Appeals correctly interpreted Section 452.375.5 & further refined the growing body of law relating to third party custody, especially the application of the ‘welfare’ prong of the statute. I believe that the Court correctly determined my client’s relationship to her son – they are family.”
For More Info: nclrights.org
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