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Same-sex couples can face parental rights issues

Maryland residents who are in same-sex relationships and have children may run into a number of problems if they break up. A case in Kentucky that has drawn attention involves a woman who was in a relationship with another woman, and the other woman became pregnant thanks to a sperm donor. The first woman has no biological connection to the child, but she was named on the child's medical records, cared for the child and had a parenting agreement after the couple broke up.

However, since she has no biological connection to the child, she is facing an uphill battle in preventing the biological mother's new husband from adopting the child. According to the biological mother, the decision to have a child was her's alone, and while they did live as a family for a time, it was never the mother's intention to give up sole custodial rights.

Individuals in same-sex relationships with no biological connection to children are running into these types of issues in states that do not recognize their rights as parents. Although some states have created a de facto parent designation, it does little to help those in other states.

Child custody has long been a contentious issue, and it has grown more so as same-sex couples have obtained more rights. Since families are no longer defined as a mother and a father, these cases can be complex, and the laws on these issues are constantly changing. Additionally, state laws on these matters can vary widely. A lawyer could explain how these issues are currently being treated as well as advise clients of their rights and options for legal action.

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