Court grants full parental rights to unmarried gay woman

Family Law

The same court that paved the way for same-sex marriage in the United States ruled Tuesday that an unmarried gay woman whose former girlfriend gave birth to two children through artificial insemination has the same parental rights as their biological mother.

The Supreme Judicial Court issued its decision Tuesday in a complicated case about the parental rights of a once-partnered, but unmarried, gay couple.

Julie Gallagher gave birth to the children, and her former partner, Karen Partanen, has helped raise them. They are now 4 and 8.

After the couple split in 2013, Partanen wanted to be declared a full legal parent.

A family court judge dismissed Partanen's request, finding that she didn't meet the requirements under state law because she and Gallagher were not married when the children were born, and Partanen is not a biological parent.

In overturning that ruling, the SJC found that a gay person may establish themselves as a child's presumptive parent under state law, even without a biological relationship with the child.

"The plain language of the provisions, then, may be construed to apply to children born to same-sex couples, even though at least one member of the couple may well lack biological ties to the children," Justice Barbara Lenk wrote for the court in the unanimous decision.

The SJC made Massachusetts the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage through a landmark decision in 2003. Partanen was represented by GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, the same Boston-based legal group that brought the gay marriage case.

Related listings

  • India's top court: Instant divorce among Muslims unlawful

    India's top court: Instant divorce among Muslims unlawful

    Family Law 08/23/2017

    India's Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce their wives as unconstitutional.The bench, comprising five senior judges of different faiths, deliberated for three months before issuing its order ...

  • NJ Supreme Court Reverses Decades-Old Divorce Law

    NJ Supreme Court Reverses Decades-Old Divorce Law

    Family Law 08/23/2017

    The New Jersey Supreme Court has reversed a decades-old law in a landmark decision that makes the child the focus of divorce relocation proceedings.The law centers on divorced parents who want to leave New Jersey with the child against the other pare...

  • In one state, abused animals get a legal voice in court

    In one state, abused animals get a legal voice in court

    Family Law 07/23/2017

    Many states have victim's advocates or child advocates, people in the judicial system who represent those affected by crime or abuse. Now, one state has created legal advocates for abused animals, an experiment being watched across the nation for sig...

Illinois Work Injury Lawyers – Krol, Bongiorno & Given, LTD.

Accidents in the workplace are often caused by unsafe work conditions arising from ignoring safety rules, overlooking maintenance or other negligence of those in management. While we are one of the largest firms in Illinois dedicated solely to the representation of injured workers, we pride ourselves on the personal, one-on-one approach we deliver to each client.

Work accidents can cause serious injuries and sometimes permanent damage. Some extremely serious work injuries can permanently hinder a person’s ability to get around and continue their daily duties. Factors that affect one’s quality of life such as place of work, relationships with friends and family, and social standing can all be taken away quickly by a work injury. Although, you may not be able to recover all of your losses, you may be entitled to compensation as a result of your work injury. Krol, Bongiorno & Given, LTD. provides informed advocacy in all kinds of workers’ compensation claims, including:

• Injuries to the back and neck, including severe spinal cord injuries
• Serious head injuries
• Heart problems resulting from workplace activities
• Injuries to the knees, elbows, shoulders and other joints
• Injuries caused by repetitive movements

For Illinois Workers’ Compensation claims, you will ALWAYS cheat yourself if you do not hire an experienced attorney. When you hire Krol, Bongiorno & Given, Ltd, you will have someone to guide you through the process, and when it is time to settle, we will add value to your case IN EXCESS of our fee. In the last few years, employers and insurance carriers have sought to advance the argument that when you settle a case without an attorney, your already low settlement should be further reduced by 20% so that you do not get a “windfall.” Representing yourself in Illinois is a lose-lose proposition.

Business News

New York Adoption Lawyers Rosin Steinhagen Mendel is a law firm dedicated to serving our clients in New York City. >> read
Chicago Work Accident Lawyers at Krol, Bongiorno & Given have been a leader in the field of workers' compensation law. >> read