Family Equality Dismayed at Wisconsin Ruling

A lesbian couple in Wisconsin adopted two children from Guatemala
years ago. One of the women, Liz, adopted the children individually
because Wisconsin prohibits two parents of the same-sex from both
having a legal relationship to their children. As the legal parent,
Liz could put the children on her health plan. When the couple’s
relationship ended, the other parent, Wendy, asked the Wisconsin
courts for legal guardianship of her children to make medical
decisions on their behalves and be awarded custody in the event
anything happened to Liz. The court denied Wendy’s request citing
the state’s adoption restrictions. Family Equality Council’s
public policy director, Kara Suffredini, responds to this
unfortunate development.

“We are dismayed by a Wisconsin court ruling yesterday that a
woman who had been a stay-at-home mom to her two children for seven
years is not considered a parent under Wisconsin law. Clearly, the
law does not have the best interest of children in mind. Wendy,
raising these kids for seven years, is also their mother. If a
person acts like a parent, does the work of a parent, and raises a
child like a parent, they are a parent. Gay parents are good
parents, regardless of sexual orientation, so says all
well-respected child welfare experts, including the Child Welfare
League of America and American Medical Association.

“About 50 percent of kids being raised by same-sex couples live
in states that either prohibit or are unclear about the ability of
both same-sex parents to have a legal relationship to them. This is
why Family Equality’s number one policy priority is to work at
all levels of government to remove the barriers to LGBT parenting,
including helping states pass protections for same-sex parents and
lobbying to pass the federal Every Child Deserves a Family Act,
which would swing open the doors for LGBT people to adopt.”

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