When You Raise Two Adopted Children For 7 Years, Are You a Parent? Nope

A Wisconsin lesbian identified only as Wendy, who raised two adopted children as a stay-at-home mom for seven years with her then-partner Liz of 12 years, is not a parent, a state appeals court ruled. Only Liz is a legal parent, because the adoption was conducted under her name — mostly so the kids could be added to Liz’s health care plan. And that’s because under Wisconsin law, two parents of the same sex cannot become legal adoptive parents. It’s a catch-22 Wendy might have to let the Wisconsin Supreme Court decide.

And it’s a numbing reminder of the continued discrimination gay families face: Not able to adopt, not able to share health benefits, and not able to have any standing in custody disputes. As Obama rattles off all of his achievements for America’s LGBTs, its these big picture issues he stubbornly refuses to address. Hopefully the courts, then, will. Perhaps most disparagingly, the court denied Wendy’s claim she should be granted guardianship because doing otherwise would be “depriving [the kids] of one of the two persons who has raised them from infancy.”

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One Comment

  • TheGayLawBlog

    The decision is disappointing, to be sure. But the maybe good news about it is that the court didn’t address the Constitutional claims that Wendy brought challenging the laws under equal protection and due process – the court said those arguments were not developed sufficiently to be addressed. Those are the issues that will make this an important decision for gay and lesbian parents.

    I blogged about it, and about other gay parental rights issues, a little here: http://thegaylawblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/gay-parents-gary-and-tony-wisconsin-and.html

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