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N.H. Supreme Court Sides With Disenfranchised Mom

The New Hampshire Supreme Court says the ex-partner of a 12-year-old's girl's mother has made her case to be considered a parent under the law.

The ruling could affect other unwed parents regardless of gender.

The case pitted Madelyn B.'s birth mother, Melissa, against her former partner, Susan. Because it's a custody case, no last names are used.

The pair split up when Madelyn was 6 but continued to co-parent until 2013 — when Melissa cut off the relationship and moved to terminate Susan's guardianship. Melissa also began proceedings to have her new husband adopt Madelyn.

Janson Wu is a staff attorney with the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, or GLAD.

He represented Susan in the case and says his client is pleased with the outcome.

“This is an amazing opinion that affirmed that children should have two parents, regardless of their sexual orientation and regardless of the circumstances of their child’s birth.”

Madelyn was born in 2002 — before the state adopted civil unions and later legalized gay marriage.

The court said parenting extends beyond a biological connection to a person's conduct regarding the child.


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