Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Adoption Ruling by New York's Highest Court Opens Doors for Same-Sex Couples

Hooray! Now this is what I call trickle-down social change:

The Wall Street Journal reports:
New York’s highest court Tuesday upended how the state legally defines parenthood, reversing course on a 25-year-old ruling that had blocked many same-sex couples from seeking the court’s help in custody disputes. Until now, New York only recognized as parents those with a clear adoptive or biological tie to a child, shutting out those who otherwise may have played a key role in a child’s upbringing. Tuesday’s decision by the New York Court of Appeals said society has changed in recent decades and that families formed by gay couples need to be protected. The court ruled that going forward, a partner can seek visitation and custody if it’s shown “by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child together.” The court recognized that some people could even deserve custody if they came into a child’s life after the birth, but said today isn’t the day to set a rule for such situations. Gay rights advocates cheered the decision, saying it moves New York into the modern day alongside dozens of other states that already have a broader scope of parenthood. “Finally, New York is bringing its law in line with the reality of thousands of children who need protection for their relationships,” said Susan Sommer, an attorney at gay-rights organization Lambda Legal who was involved in the case. “No longer is there some harsh absolute bar.” 

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