Same-sex couples have full parental rights in Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court took a big step in guaranteeing that same-sex couples can enjoy another protection that has been historically reserved for opposite-sex couples. A recent ruling grants same-sex parents full parental rights in the same way that those rights usually apply to fathers.

This is a huge deal for same-sex parents who have raised a child who doesn't belong to them biologically. The case at the heart of the matter has to do with two women, one of whom had a child. The justices ruled that the nonbiological parent is afforded what is typically known as father's rights since the child was born within 10 months of marriage.

The two women got married in California two years prior to one of the women becoming pregnant via agreed upon artificial insemination. The marriage occurred in 2008 and the pregnancy in 2010. The women had a parenting agreement regarding the child and they determined they were both equally his parents.

It wasn't until he was two years old that one of the women moved out. Prior to that one woman supported the family and the other was a stay-at-home parent. At the time of the divorce, the biological mother claimed that the parenting rights in Arizona applied only to a husband, a man. The other woman argued that wasn't the case any longer.

The justice who wrote the majority opinion noted the decision to afford parental rights to a nonbiological same-sex parent is based on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that requires that marriage isn't limited to being only between one man and one woman. Instead, his opinion says that the court must provide equal rights to all married parties, regardless of the marital composition.

Source: Arizona Daily Sun, "Supreme Court awards Arizona same-sex couples full parental rights," Howard Fischer, Sep. 19, 2017

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