A Virginia court
decision that tore a gay family apart was overturned by
a Maryland court on Monday.
decision lifted a Virginia custody restriction laid on gay
father Ulf Hedberg prohibiting him from residing with his
life partner while raising his son. The Maryland court
said the restriction hurt Hedberg's 13-year-old son
because the child was confused and saddened as to why
his stepfather could no longer live with him.
an important ruling which acknowledges the best interest of
the child. The Virginia custody order restricting the
couple's shared residence did not benefit the child
but instead harmed him," said Hedberg's lawyer,
Susan Silber. "Mr. Hedberg is a devoted parent who
has done a tremendous job raising his son. We are
pleased to reunite this loving family."
Hedberg and his
former wife, both Virginia residents at the time,
separated when their son was 4. For the next 5
1/2 years, the child lived with Hedberg and his
partner, Blaise Delahoussaye, in suburban Virginia.
When the boy's mother sought custody of her son, a Virginia
court granted Hedberg custody but ordered Delahoussaye to
move out of the house, forcing the family to sell
their home and Hedberg and his son to move to a small
apartment in Maryland.
courts to restrict a parent's custody simply because the
parent is gay; Maryland does not. (The