Oklahoma Supreme Court rules for non-biological parent in same-sex divorce

(Image by succo from Pixabay)

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the non-biological parent of children in a same-sex divorce can have can have the same rights as the biological parent.

The Tulsa World reported that Lori Schnedler and Heather Nicole Lee had been a couple before marriage equality. Lee had a child in 2007 when the couple was together. The couple separated in 2015. The newspaper said that Schnedler filed suit when Lee denied visitation.

The World reported that the court had taken the case to clarify the standing of non-biological parents in same-sex relationships. The court said that it has recognized the the right of custody and visitation is not bound by biological relations.

From the Tulsa World:

The court found that a non-biological same-sex co-parent who wants parentage must show that he or she is in family planning with the intent to parent jointly.

In addition, it must be shown that the non-biological parent acted in a parental role for a length of time sufficient to have created a meaningful, emotional relationship with the child.

Finally, it must be shown that the non-biological parent resided with the child for a significant period while holding out the child as his or her own.



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