Lesbian Denied Rights |to Ex-Partner’s Child

     (CN) – A Missouri woman lost her bid for a declaration that she is the co-parent of a child born to her former partner in a lesbian relationship in which both women bore children from the same anonymous sperm donor.




     Leslea and Michelle White were involved in a relationship from 1997 to 2005. Michelle changed her surname to match Leslea’s. In 2001, Leslea gave birth to a child and Michelle did the same in 2004.
     After the breakup, the children split time between the two women until May 2006, when Michelle cut off all contact with Leslea and refused to allow her child to see Leslea and Leslea’s child.
     Leslea went to court to seek a declaration that both women are the parents of both children. The trial court granted Michelle’s motion to dismiss the case. The Missouri Court of Appeals confirmed that decision on appeal.
     “Missouri law only allows claims for declaration of a parent-child relationship based on a biological tie or a presumption or a presumption due to marriage or attempted marriage,” Judge Ellis wrote. “Because neither Leslea nor the children are seeking a declaration of the existence of a biological relationship, and none of the parental presumptions apply, the trial court did not err in dismissing the petition based on a lack of standing.”

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