The US Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a Texas mother challenging her former lesbian partner’s claim to be the second parent of her daughter, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Kristina S. had conceived her now six-year-old daughter Amalia through artificial insemination during her domestic partnership with lesbian Charisma R. However, Kristina left the partnership three months after her daughter’s birth.
The former partner initiated a legal challenge to gain visitation rights, but her case was not considered by state judges until the California Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that homosexual partners involved in the process of conceiving and raising their partner’s child had legal rights as “co-parents.”
Charisma had not seen the little girl for five years when an Alameda County judge in California ordered that visits commence based on the state high court’s ruling.
Since the US Supreme Court refused to review the case, the decision of California’s First District Court of Appeal will stand that Christina is the legal “co-parent” and has visitation rights.
Kristina S. was represented by the civil advocacy group, Liberty Counsel, which argued to the high court that the California judiciary was replacing the natural family with a judicial definition.
Liberty Counsel is also representing Lisa Miller, an ex-lesbian who has been ordered to give up daughter Isabella to former partner Janet Jenkins, whom she said she left after years of abuse. Miller and Jenkins had entered into a Vermont civil union in 2000, but broke up shortly after the birth of Isabella in 2003.
Miller is now a resident of Virginia, which does not recognize civil unions, and fought to prevent Jenkins from having contact with Isabella after her daughter showed signs of psychological trauma from the visits. After one visit, Isabella put a comb to her neck and told her mother that she wanted to kill herself; in another incident, Isabella said Jenkins forced her to bathe naked with her.
After years of legal struggles in both Vermont and Virginia courts to prevent the unsupervised visits, Miller severed contact with her attorneys and disappeared in November of last year. She has not been heard from since.
Vermont Judge Richard Cohen has issued an arrest warrant for Miller for failing to transfer custody of Isabella to Jenkins. A judge in Bedford County, Va. last week refused to issue an arrest warrant for Miller, due to the fact that she had not been legally subpoenaed in that state.