Friday, June 12, 2009

Louisiana court deprives child of her second mom

Add Louisiana to the list of states willing to deprive a child of her mother...and her brother. This week the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal ruled in Black v. Simms that Kimberlee Black is not entitled to joint custody of Braelyn, the child that she co-raised for six years. (Her parents helped raise the child, too, as the couple and their children lived with Black's parents for about two years.) That effectively deprives Braelyn of contact with her younger brother, Eli, who is Black's biological child.

Both children were born to Black and her partner, Kimberly Simms, using donor semen. The court refers only to Braelyn's biological mom, Simms, as Braelyn's parent. That makes Black a non-parent who had to prove "substantial harm" to Braelyn from full custody with her biological mother. The court said, "Plain and simple, Ms. Simms is the mother of Braelyn and has the right to direct how Braelyn is raised." That includes eliminating Black and Eli from the child's life.

The court-ordered counselor testified that Braelyn believed she had two mothers and that Braelyn's "view of dependability and predictably would be threatened if she did not reestablish her relationship with her psychological family." But the court goes on to say that the counselor "did admit that a parent is not unfit because they decide that a child can no longer associate with a family friend that has been close to the family for years." (emphasis mine).

Family friend? Is that how the court would refer to the husband of a woman giving birth using donor semen? Of course not! See my post here for the type of laws we need to keep this from happening. In the mean time, the Braelyns of this world suffer from the unwillingness of courts to see the families that lesbian couples create.

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