This article comes out in an interesting time in Michigan. With the campaigns in progress there are still many different views when it comes to same-sex marriage. However, what hasn’t yet been addressed are the laws that protect a person who has entered into a same sex marriage who have children. If one spouse is the legal guardian of the minor child(ren) what legal rights do they have if the couple decides to divorce or separate? This situation is what two people are going through in Michigan right now.
The couple has been caring for the children, ages 8 and 6, since they were both born. Both children know them both as ‘mom’. While the oldest child is biologically related to one of the parties the youngest child was born using a sperm donor and an egg donor. There are no laws that inform the court what to do in these types of situations. Technically in the eyes of the law they have no legal rights to the younger child and only one of the parties has any legal rights to the oldest child.
Adoption by same-sex couples is indeed legal in Michigan now but what about the couples who have children together that have not finished the adoption process? Should one parent who is the legal parent of a child be able to terminate the guardianship of the other parent whom is in the eyes of the law only a guardian? What rights should a person have in this situation? Michigan laws do not address reproductive technology and what legal rights a couple has in regard to custody of a child born of such technology.
This will be an interesting case and hopefully one that sets precedence for same-sex couples in the future. I will keep you all updated on the rulings of this case!