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Mother fights for fair custody arrangement with her ex

When parents divorce or separate, they have to come up with a child custody arrangement. Unless one parent is unsafe or it is otherwise in the best interests of the children not to spend time with the parent, most parents in Pennsylvania share custody. If, for some reason, one parent is given sole custody of the child, the other parent typically has some kind of rights to visitation, either supervised or unsupervised.

One York County woman, however, has been given minimal visitation rights with her daughter and has no right to any custody with her son. Most people reading this are likely wondering what is wrong with the mother that a judge would grant her so few rights. There is nothing wrong with the mother, it is because she is gay and not the biological mother of her and her ex-partner's children that she has such limited rights.

Unless an individual in a same-sex relationship is the biological or adoptive parent of a child, he or she has very limited rights to the children should he or she divorce or separate from the children's other parent. Dissolving same-sex relationships, thus, requires highly creative solutions to protect both parents' rights.

While this mother is trying to raise money to appeal the judge's decision, it is not entirely clear what will happen. She appears on her daughter's birth certificate as the other parent because the girl was born outside of Pennsylvania. Her son, however, was born after she and her then-partner had moved back here. Thus, she is not listed as her son's other parent.

Source: York Dispatch, "Former Yorker embroiled in same-sex custody battle," Christina Kauffman, May 7, 2014

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