Gay Partner of Biological Parent May Win Custody and/or Visitation Rights Even Though Jurisdiction Does Not Recognize Same Sex Marriage or Civil Unions

Nebraska Mother has Son in 2001.

Mother’s gay Partner of twenty years was actively involved in choosing Mother’s sperm donor for Son’s birth, planning and financing the in vitro fertilization, and raising Son until their breakup in 2006.

Mother allowed Partner to visit with Son for a year and a half afterwards.

Then Mother allegedly cut off all contact with Partner – for two years now.

Nebraska does not recognize gay marriage or civil unions, nor allow adoptions by gays.

Partner files for visitation and timesharing.

Prior to trial, the Nebraska family court dismissed Partner’s case for visitation and timesharing. Partner appealed.

On appeal, Nebraska’s highest court held that Partner nonetheless may argue in family court that she is a legal parent based on her course of parental conduct toward Son. This principle of in loco parentis has long been applied to stepparents and grandparents.

This ruling is consistent with rulings in several similar cases in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The Nebraska Supreme Court remanded the case back to the lower court to take evidence in regard to Partner’s claims.

Read more in this Omaha World-Herald article: Ruling: Woman can seek custody.