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Woman Seeking to End Parental Rights After Same-Sex Divorce

Dec. 21, 2017

It is rare that a parent will attempt to avoid child support by seeking to have his or her parental rights terminated. In another state, a former spouse is seeking to have her own parental rights revoked after her same-sex divorce. The unusual circumstances raise issues about child rearing that has caught the attention of advocacy groups in New York and elsewhere.

The case hinges on the issue of consent to have a child and whether it was freely given. The woman seeking to have her parental rights terminated claims that she was not involved in the decision to have a child and that her former wife elected to pursue the pregnancy while she was deployed. The couple married in 2013, and divorce proceedings were initiated in 2015.

The mother claims that she and her former spouse discussed having children repeatedly and that it was a mutual decision. The child, who was born while the divorce was in progress, was conceived through artificial insemination with sperm from a donor bank. The petitioner asserts that she has never bonded with the baby and does not have a relationship with the child.

Many same-sex advocacy groups are following the case. The Hawaii Supreme Court, where the case is pending, expects to issue a ruling at a later date. Those in New York who are struggling with matters pertaining to child custody, support, visitation or any other family law matters are typically best served by relying upon the advice and assistance of an experienced attorney.

Source:, “Consent to having children at heart of same-sex military couple’s child support case”, Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Dec. 14, 2017