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CHOCO
Dec 20th, 2002, 01:50 PM
Former lesbian partner must pay child support
Thursday, December 19, 2002 Posted: 12:37 PM EST (1737 GMT)


HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) -- The former lesbian partner of a woman who bore five children during their relationship must pay child support, a state Superior Court panel has ruled.

The couple, identified only by initials in the three-judge panel's opinion, lived together in Carlisle from the mid-1980s until 1997 and agreed to have children together through artificial insemination.

The partner, identified as H.A.N., stayed at home and cared for the children while the mother returned to work in a civilian job for the Navy. H.A.N. did not legally adopt the children.

After the couple split up, H.A.N. successfully sought custody of the children during summers and school breaks but argued that she should not have to pay child support.

A Cumberland County Common Pleas judge ordered her to pay back and current child support, and the Superior Court upheld the order Tuesday after she appealed.

"It is clear from the record that H.A.N. acted as a `co-parent' with mother in all areas concerning the children's conception, care and support," Judge Joan Orie Melvin wrote for the court.

A lawyer for the mother, who now lives in California, said the case is one of the first appellate-level decisions requiring a non-biological parent to pay child support to her former lesbian partner.

"It puts lesbian and gay parents on notice that the courts will not tolerate blowing hot and cold when it comes to the assertion of parental rights and the assumption of parental duties," said the lawyer, Mark Momjian. "Non-biological parents who bring children into this world are going to be held financially accountable for their actions."

A lawyer for H.A.N. did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

The case marked the third time in less than a year that the Pennsylvania appellate courts ruled unanimously in cases involving gay and lesbian parents, Momjian said.

One case granted standing to nonbiological mothers. In another, the state Supreme Court ruled that unmarried couples, including those in a same-sex relationship, can legally adopt children.

Second-parent adoptions also have been approved by courts in the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Vermont, Momjian said. Three states -- California, Connecticut and Vermont -- have laws permitting second-parent adoptions.

griffin
Dec 20th, 2002, 01:53 PM
:)

gentenaire
Dec 20th, 2002, 03:32 PM
Griffin, psstt, you posted that last post using the wrong user name. Quickly, change it back to CHOCO before anyone notices;)

They took the right decision, I think. It's only fair.

Tammy
Dec 20th, 2002, 04:00 PM
thats grand :)

griffin
Dec 20th, 2002, 04:03 PM
:p @ Tine - I thought it was a fitting comment.

Barrie_Dude
Dec 20th, 2002, 04:17 PM
Actually, I'm impressed!

CHOCO
Dec 20th, 2002, 04:20 PM
Yeah...it's about time. ;)

CHOCO
Dec 21st, 2002, 12:28 AM
:)

DutchieGirl
Dec 21st, 2002, 05:12 AM
good! I think she should pay the child support too!

CHOCO
Dec 21st, 2002, 03:26 PM
:)