Tuesday, September 27, 2016

NY Court rules non-adoptive, non-biological parent can seek visitation/custody

In a decision handed down August 30, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that when an unmarried couple who decide to conceive children together separate, a non-adoptive, non-biological parent has the right to seek visitation or custody.

The ruling reverses a 25-year-old precedent that had barred non-adoptive, non-biological parents from claiming parenting rights.

The decision focused on changing social and legal definitions of family and parenting.

The Court limited its ruling to instances where two parents together decided to conceive and raise a child.

The Court did not rule on whether non-biological, non-adoptive parents have parenting rights in situations where a couple did not choose to conceive a child, but did choose to raise the child after conception.

In addition, it was noted that that Family Court retains power to make custody and visitation decisions in individual cases based on its discretion.

Click here to read the decision.