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Ohio: Court reverses custody ruling for lesbian’s former partner

Joseph McCormick September 4, 2012
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A court in Ohio has reversed an earlier decision to allow access to the biological daughter of a lesbian’s former girlfriend, now saying that she has no right to custody.

Following a long legal battle, Maggie Gross had found she was entitled to access the daughter, now 7, of her former partner, Jennifer Herrick, at Franklin County Juvenile Court.

The Franklin County Court of Appeals ruled that the custody ruling no longer applied because the man Ms Herrick had married after breaking up with Ms Gross had adopted the child.

The court said that because the adoption is meant to provide a new family for the child, it in effect severs: “legal relationships with non-relatives, such as [Ms Gross], who attempt to base their claims on relationships in existence prior to the adoption.”

Despite the fact that Ms Gross had filed for custody in 2009, and the adoption was made in early 2011, the Judge ruled that the Court issuing the custody order had no jurisdiction to do so because of the finalised adoption.

LeeAnn Massucci, attorney for Ms Gross attributed this twist to the fact that same-sex couples cannot marry or adopt in Ohio. She made a statement:

“There are thousands of shared-custody agreements around this state. This is a three-parent family, like so many others,” reported

Last year, a lesbian in Ohio, US, lost a similar custody battle over the biological daughter of her former partner. Michele Hobbs and Kelly Mullen had lived together in Cincinnati and made the decision to become parents before Ms Mullen gave birth to the child, Lucy, in 2005.

More: Americas, US

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