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Liberty and Justice for All

By Snyder & Sarno on April 16, 2014


As more and more states recognize same sex marriage, some are also confirming parental rights for same sex parents.  In two recent, but slightly different circumstances, a spouse in a same sex marriage was given parental rights to his or her partner’s biological child.

According to the ABA Journal, Tennessee recently began recognizing the same sex marriages of couples who are lawfully married outside of the state. After getting married in New York, a same sex couple moved to Tennessee.  One of the women became pregnant by artificial insemination and gave birth to the baby in Tennessee. Her spouse was permitted to list herself as the father of the child on the child’s birth certificate because she was the lawful spouse of the child’s biological mother when the child was born.

Another spouse in a same sex marriage, this time in New York, was permitted to adopt his spouse’s children.  According to the New York Law Journal, the children were conceived through in vitro fertilization using the sperm of one of the spouses. The children were carried by a surrogate mother in Mumbai and given to the couple under a surrogacy contract, which are illegal in New York. The New York judge permitted the other spouse to legally adopt his spouse’s biological twins, even though the surrogacy contract was illegal.

            These two recent cases show that as same sex couples gain more marital rights in more states, they will also gain more parental and other familial rights. We will continue to follow and report these developments to you as they occur.

            If you have any questions about same sex marriage in New Jersey or about your familial rights, please contact the experienced attorneys at Snyder & Sarno at (973) 274-5200.

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