Liberty Counsel Files Briefs Before California Supreme Court Defending The Right Of A Biological Parent To Have Custody Of Her Children In Former Same-Sex Partner Dispute

Apr 8, 2005

Liberty Counsel today filed the third in a series of amicus briefs in the California Supreme Court aimed at protecting the right of a biological parent to direct the upbringing of her children without interference from a nonparent, former same-sex partner. The brief was filed on behalf of Kristina Sica, who is facing a legal challenge from her former same-sex partner over custody of Ms. Sica's biological child.

Ms. Sica was awarded custody at the trial court, but her former partner appealed the decision. That appeal has been stayed pending the outcome of three similar cases before the California Supreme Court: K.M. v. E.G., Elisa B. v. Emily B., and Kristine Renee H. v. Lisa Ann R. Today, Liberty Counsel filed a brief in the Kristine Renee H. case. A few weeks ago Liberty Counsel also filed amicus briefs on behalf of Ms. Sica in the K.M. and Elisa B. cases.

In all three briefs, Liberty Counsel argues that nonparent, former same-sex partners who have not adopted their former partner's children cannot obtain parental rights when the relationship ends. Neither statutory nor case law in California permits two same-sex partners to be declared legal parents when one is neither a biological nor adoptive parent to the child. Liberty Counsel's brief quotes an earlier California Supreme Court decision involving surrogacy: "For any child California law recognizes only one natural mother, despite advances in reproductive technology rendering a different outcome biologically possible."

Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, stated: "Legal challenges by nonparent, former same-sex partners infringe upon the parents' constitutional right to direct the upbringing of their children. The law must continue to protect the biological parents' constitutional rights to parent their children without interference from a third party. Custody disputes involving former same-sex partners have the potential to undermine parental rights. If a former same-sex partner is granted custody over the protest of a biological parent, then the rights of all parents are jeopardized. A 'significant other' cannot walk into a family childless and walk out with the biological parent's children."

Order the book Same Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk here