Ruling over the parental rights of same-sex couples by the Supreme Court of Kansas

Ruling over the parental rights of same-sex couples by the Supreme Court of Kansas

Posted By The Reynolds Law Firm, LLC || 29-Mar-2013

The Supreme Court of Kansas recently ruled in Frazier v. Goudschaal, No. 103, 487 ( http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/SupCt/2013/20130222/103487.pdf) that children born via reproductive technologies (i.e. artificial insemination) to a same-sex couple can be deemed children of both parents. In the Fraizer case two women were committed to a long-time same-sex relationship, during which they jointly decided to have two children via artificial insemination. In connection with the birth of the children the parties executed a co-parenting agreement, which also addressed what would happen in the event of a separation.

After some period of time the couple separated, and a few months after that Goudschaal (the birth mother) advised Fraizer (the same-sex partner) that she was moving to Texas with the children. Fraizer filed an action to enforce the co-parenting agreement. The trial court enforced the co-parenting agreement and established entered a parenting plan awarding the parties joint legal custody and awarded Fraizer parenting time. Goudschaal appealed the decision challenging the court's legal authority to award custody and parenting time to an unrelated third party of the minor children.

The Kansas Supreme Court found that the Kansas Parentage Act creates a presumption of parentage for a woman who "notoriously or in writing" recognize a child as her own. The Kansas Supreme Court stated that under Kansas law two parents can be of the same sex. The co-parenting agreement identified Frazier a "de facto parent" and went on to say that her "relationship with the children should be protected and promoted." The Supreme Court found that it did not violate public policy to enforce the co-parenting agreement as long as it was in the children's best interests.

Looking for an attorney for a co-parenting agreement case in Kansas City? Contact a Kansas City divorce attorney from our firm today!

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