The Kansas Supreme Court has issued two decisions with far-reaching implications for same-sex couples, finding that parenting intentions at the moment of a child’s birth are critical to establishing parental rights.
Both cases involved birth mothers who conceived through artificial insemination, and were fighting petitions by their former same-sex partners to establish parentage after their romantic relationships had fallen apart.
In both cases, the women had not married, and did not have written or oral co-parenting agreements.
The court found that – under the Kansas Parentage Act – a woman needs only to show that she acknowledged maternity at the time of the child’s birth, and show evidence that the birth mother consented at that time to share the care, custody, and control of the child.
The cases were sent back down to the lower courts for further proceedings consistent with the rulings.
The state Supreme Court said, “The court must avoid giving either party a veto after the arrangement has been put in place and into effect at the time of the child’s birth.”