In a same-sex custody case, non-biological parents may face problems regarding their status as the child’s legal parent. If the non-biological parent did not adopt the child, then legally this may affect his or her status as the child’s parent and could be detrimental to any push to obtain custody rights.
Meanwhile, gay and lesbian parents in custody battles with non-gay and non-lesbian parents may be at a disadvantage, too. While some states have laws in place that prevent courts from considering a parent’s sexual orientation in a case to determine child custody and visitation rights, Texas is not one of them.
While courts are instructed to consider the best interests of the child, Texas does not have a law indicating that this must be done without considering sexual orientation.
Progress on Same-Sex Custody in Texas
In Hackett v. Ferris, a recent same-sex custody case in Dallas, a lesbian woman was granted the legal standing to fight for custody of her non-biological daughter following the dissolution of her relationship with the child’s mother. While the woman ultimately was unsuccessful, the case did pave the way to allow other non-biological gay and lesbian parents in Texas to seek child custody and visitation rights.
Though there are no guarantees for the outcome of a same-sex custody case, a parent could increase his or her chances of getting custodial rights by legally adopting the child. This gives legal recognition of parental rights, even if the individual is not the child’s biological parent.
Legal Help with a Same-Sex Custody Case
If you’re a gay or lesbian parent going through a custody battle with your former partner, you could have a difficult road ahead of you. Call (888) 584-9614 to speak to a Plano child custody attorney at Warren & Migliaccio to learn more about earning child custody and visitation rights in a same-sex custody case.