The same-sex parents at risk of losing their children
Two Mississippi women are stuck in a battle to be recognised as their child’s parents after a legal loophole has allowed the state to discriminate against them.
This loophole may set a prescident that could harm hundreds of other same-sex parents.
According to the Jackson Free Press, Kimberly and Christina have two sons, one son who was adopted in 2007 and their second child, called Z in the court documents, who was born in 2010.
As the couple were unable to get married in Mississippi in 2009, the couple travelled to Massachusetts for their wedding.
In 2016 the couple seperated, causing significant issues as Christina was not named a legal parent of Z, as Kimberly was named as Z’s only legal parent.
Christina’s attorney, Elizabeth Littrell, blames this on discrimination against same-sex couples in Mississippi at the time of Z’s conception and birth.
Z was one of thousands of children born to same-sex parents using reproductive technologies such as sperm and egg donation in the US over the last decade.
As Z was born with the sperm of an anonymous donor, Christina and Kimberly have been placed into a legal loophole that has put Christina’s right to be a parent in jeopardy.
During the separation, Christina was only given the right to visit Z, instead of being given shared or partial custody.
In Christina and Kimberly’s divorce hearing in October 2016, Judge John Grant gave the divorce, but set a worrying precident about the role of non-biologically related same-sex parents, saying that the donor of the biological material (ie: the sperm or egg) has more parental rights than the same-sex parent.
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