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Lesbian Wins Parental Rights in Del.

Lesbian Wins Parental Rights in Del.


The Delaware supreme court ruled earlier this month that the ex-partner of a woman who adopted a child from Kazakhstan is entitled to "de facto" parental rights.

The court's decision seems to bring an end to litigation that began when a female couple broke up in 2004. The child was legally adopted by only one of the women, referred to in court by the pseudonym "Lynn Smith," because Kazakhstan does not allow two women to adopt the same child. Thirteen months after the adoption, the women broke up, and the partner, known as "Carol Guest," sued for custody of the child in family court and won on the basis that she was a "de facto" parent. Smith then sued in the state supreme court, which ruled that Guest had no legal standing as a parent. "Only biological or adoptive parents could claim such status in Delaware" at that time, reports Delaware's News-Journal.

After that, the state general assembly passed a law that granted "de facto" parental status -- the legislation was retroactive, so Guest filed a petition for custody in family court, which was granted. Then, this month, the state supreme court upheld that decision.

Read the full story here.

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