parenthood

How These 2 Lesbian Ex-Partners Agreed to Share Custody of the Twins (With The Sperm Donor)

When it comes to homosexuals and their child custody battles, there are two ways to go about fighting over the kids. There’s the Janet Jenkins Method, which involves the police hunting down your former partner who went MIA before complying with a court order to turn over the child. And then there’s the Kim T. Smith, who found “a fragile peace” with former partner Maggie Quale, who fell in love with the sperm donor of their almost-one-year-old twin boys.

Smith and Quale, 33, never registered as domestic partners, but under the settlement will both be considered the children’s legal parents. Yahoo! But what about Shawn Wallace, 28, the baby daddy, creator of SaveOurTwins.com, and Quale’s new beau (pictured)?

The public relations specialist and Shawn Wallace, the sperm donor, a 28-year-old landscape designer who she met through a mutual friend, started a Web site three months ago called SaveOurTwins.com and asked the public for help with legal expenses. The site and a corresponding Facebook page have since been taken down.

Smith, 45, who works at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been advised by her attorneys not to discuss the case publicly. She and Quale, who had a commitment ceremony in January 2008 eight months after meeting, split up in August 2009, just five months after the twins, Max and Levi, were born.

Quale and Smith never registered as domestic partners with the state, but were considered as such on Smith’s insurance, which paid for the birth. Though Smith never adopted the twins, Smith and Quale are listed as parents on the children’s birth certificates, and the boys have the hyphenated last name of Smith-Quale.

Quale said she and Smith never formalized their relationship because of persistent problems with the relationship.

[…] It is not clear whether Wallace was granted any paternity rights in the settlement.

And because we just saw a gay custody case on Judge Judy, let this be a warning to all:

No legal arrangements were made between them or Wallace about parental rights before or after the children were born.

Sorry ladies, but that makes you IDIOTS. There are enough legal snafus that gay parents have to jump through to secure proper guardian rights, and not even having a single sheet of paper declaring whom the parents will be (the two mommies) and whom will not be (the sperm donor) is the very least you could do. Particularly in California, where state law — and various judges’ courtrooms — dictates two biological parents will always supersede an assumed parent.

We learn all about the pill and how to put on a condom. But for gays, we should also be taught that when we actually want to have children, get it in writing.

(P.S. SaveOurTwins.com is offline, but you can view it in Google’s cache. And because the story Maggie and Shawn share on it should never be lost, we’ve reprinted in full on the next page.)