Magazine article The Christian Century

Lesbian Wins Visitation Rights

Magazine article The Christian Century

Lesbian Wins Visitation Rights

Article excerpt

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled April 6 that a lesbian woman deserves visitation rights for the children she helped raise, even though the woman and her partner are no longer together.

In a decision praised by gay rights organizations, the court found that the woman is a "psychological parent" because she helped raise the couple's twins before the two women separated. The case involved a woman, identified only as M.J.B., who was artificially inseminated and gave birth to twins in 1994. She and her partner, V.C., raised the children together before separating in 1996.

After the couple broke up, V.C. was denied visitation rights and custody. A lower court gave her visitation rights but was divided in its opinion. When the state Supreme Court heard the case, Associate Justice Virginia Long said each woman could be a "fully capable, loving parent committed to the safety and welfare of the twins."

The decision stopped short, however, of granting V. …

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