Pennsylvania Superior Court Declares Three Legal Parents in Lesbian Battle for Child Support

By Gudrun Schultz

  YORK COUNTY, Pennsylvania, May 2, 2007 ( - A Pennsylvania middle-level court declared two lesbians and a sperm donor to be three legal parents for  children at the heart of a custody support battle, in a ruling Monday. The decision follows an Ontario Appeals Court ruling in January that established three individuals—two lesbians and a sperm donor—as the legal parents of a young boy.

  In the PA case, the battle over parenting responsibilities was fought on the grounds of child support payments. The two women in the case had split from a six-year lesbian relationship which had included forming a civil union in Vermont. One woman, Jodilynn, relocated with four children—two her nephews and two her birth children conceived by a sperm donor, who was a friend of her one-time lesbian partner, Jennifer. A lower court split custody of the children, giving the care of one nephew, accused of assaulting one of the younger children, to Jennifer, and leaving the other three children in Jodilynn’s care.

  Jodilynn sued for child support payments from Jennifer and was awarded payments of $983 per month. Jennifer appealed that ruling, arguing that her friend Carl, who had donated the sperm to conceive the two youngest children, should be required to pay part of the child support.

  Both cases were appealed to the Superior Court. The court ruled unanimously that Carl was liable for child-support payments, as well as Jennifer, since he had played an active role in the care of the children since their birth.

  While the judges acknowledged the lack of legal precedent for the situation, the final opinion stated that, "in the absence of legislative mandates, the courts must construct a fair, workable and responsible basis for the protection of children, aside from whatever rights the adults may have vis a vis each other."

  Read full Superior Court ruling here:

  Read detailed coverage from the New York Law School:

  See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
  Ontario Court Rules Five-Year Old Has Three Legal Parents – Father, Mother, Lesbian Partner

  Woman Petitions Ontario Court for “Third Parent” Status for Lesbian Partner’s Son

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