Wednesday, May 2, 2018

[USA] After lesbian couple splits, court rules nonbiological parent has right to child ex-wife carried | Robert McCoppin | Chicago Tribune

An interesting story out of the USA (Illinois) on parental recognition.

A woman whose former wife had a baby through artificial insemination has parental rights to the child even though they’re not biologically related, an Illinois appeals court has ruled.

The ruling also applies to opposite-sex parents, attorneys said, and sets precedent for northern Illinois outside of Cook County.

“We’re thrilled,” said attorney Camilla Taylor, who helped argue the appeal. “This solidifies a body of law in Illinois that protects the relationship between children and their nonbiological parents.”

The case involves Dee Baron-Judd and Ashlie Judd, who married in Iowa in 2009 and bought a home together in Rockford. A few years later, they decided Baron-Judd would seek to conceive a child through artificial insemination, according to the 2nd Appellate Court ruling, which came down Friday.

The two were together at the hospital when the baby was born, they identified themselves as co-parents on the birth certificate and they sent out a birth announcement, the ruling noted. After the delivery, they both took time off from work to take care for the girl, who is now 4, and, according to Judd’s testimony, called both women “mom,” court records show.

Seven months after the girl was born, the couple separated, and later divorced. Illinois law recognizing same-sex marriage took effect in 2014, and the U.S. Supreme Court recognized same-sex marriage in 2015, both after the couple’s daughter was born.

The trial court in Winnebago County ruled that the nonbiological mother, Judd, had a legitimate parental relationship with the child, which the appellate court affirmed. Since the divorce, the two women have been sharing custody and parenting responsibilities.

“It’s a great day,” Judd said upon hearing the news of the ruling. “She’s been my daughter, and she understood that I was her parent. She’s doing good, growing like a weed — a happy, healthy kid.”

Her former wife had a different reaction.

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