The Many Ways Families Are Created

A Judge’s recent ruling points to the fact that the definition of what constitutes a family is constantly changing.

k5275349In a landmark case that was in the news this week, a Connecticut-based Judge gave full custody of a child to a woman who had divorced her same-sex spouse. There were a couple of surprises in this case. First off, the woman who was awarded custody was not genetically related to the child. Secondly, the woman who was awarded custody had never filed for adoption (or any other type of custodial arrangement) prior to being awarded custody of the child.

The Judge ruled that, “despite the absence of biology or adoption… there is marital presumption… the child was born during their marriage.” This finding has the potential for powerful implications for LGBT rights, not to mention that it’s a ruling that was made with the best interest of the child in mind.

More and more courts today are looking at the various ways a family is created – birth, adoption, fostering, surrogacy, artificial insemination, custody contracts – each addressing that families are families no matter how they were created.

Greater protections are needed for children who have people in their lives whom they identify as parents – the people who genuinely and regularly provide for their care, support, and well-being (both physical and psychological) day in, day out.