Originally published on Advocate.com January 28 2005 12:00 AM ET
A woman whose daughter was adopted by her former lesbian partner has lost a court battle to regain custody.
The Texas supreme court declined Friday to hear a request by Julie Ann Hobbs of Galveston to dismiss a lawsuit filed in May by Janet Kathleen Van Stavern for joint custody and standard visitation of their 6-year-old girl. Hobbs and Van Stavern were together for eight years, ending in February 2004. Hobbs conceived the girl through artificial insemination and gave birth in 1998. Van Stavern legally adopted Hobbs's daughter in 2001.
The first Texas court of appeals in November declined a request by Hobbs to dismiss Van Stavern's lawsuit. State district judge Janis Yarbrough ruled in October that Van Stavern has parental rights to Hobbs's daughter. Hobbs's attorneys then argued that Van Stavern's lawsuit should be dismissed
on the grounds that the adoption is illegal because Texas law does not permit co-parenting by same-sex couples.
Shannon Warren, an attorney representing Van Stavern, said Hobbs's only legal option is to file an appeal after a trial in family court. A court date regarding Van Stavern's request for joint custody and standard visitation is set for April 4. Van Stavern has been making child-support payments of $400 monthly to Hobbs since the two separated in February, said Warren. (AP)