by Snigdha Raju
8:25pm, 31st August, 2016
Custodial and visitation disputes are equally prevalent in same-sex couples as they are in straight ones, and the highest court of New York has successfully recognised the fact, and India has taken a backward step on the issue, like all other LGBT issues.
The New York Court of Appeals on Tuesday invalidated the 25-year-old ruling that was the cause of custody disputes among same-sex couples.
The ruling that existed till date only recognized parents who had clear adoptive or biological ties to the child, overlooking the others who might have played a major role in the child’s upbringing, leading to unresolved issues regarding custody and visitation among these couples. The court found this rule to be “unworkable when applied to increasingly varied familial relationships”
The court ruled that going forward, a partner can seek visitation and custody if it is shown “by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child together.” The new ruling will help protect the children, regardless of the marital and financial status of their parents. Many couples will raise children without getting married, where one partner has no biological relation to the child, and where the couple does not proceed with a second-parent adoption. In the case of same-sex couples, the area where the majority of the reported New York cases arise, one parent, and in some cases neither parent, is biologically related to his or her child. Further, couples often cannot meet the financial costs attendant with an adoption; in some cases, the parents’ relationship terminates before the lengthy process of an adoption can be finalized. parenthood needs to be determined by looking at how the parties live as a family, and who cares for and provides for the child — both emotionally and financially. The alteration of the definition of a ‘parent’ in the state of New York is definitely going to influence the rest of the states in the USA and even the countries of the world.
“Finally, New York is bringing its law in line with the reality of thousands of children who need protection for their relationships,” said Susan Sommer, an attorney at gay-rights organization Lambda Legal who was involved in the case. “No longer is there some harsh, absolute bar.”1
Whilst the state of New York and major parts of the world are making breakthroughs in the matter of LGBT rights, there’s India, making life harder and harder for this community. The
Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2016 stands as an epitome of homophobia in India. The bill, confirming to the hetero-normative norms, now only allows for married straight infertile couples to enjoy the privilege of surrogacy, denying the human right to parenthood to foreigners, NRIs, single parents, live-in partners and same-sex couples. This very bill evinces the backwardness of thought prevailing in the Indian society even in the postmodern era.
What are your opinions on same-sex and LGBT parenting rights and the surrogacy ban? Have a discussion in the comments!
Feature Image Source: GuardianTv.com
1. The Wall Street Journal