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Recent Supreme Judicial Court Decision Regarding Parental Rights for Non Biological Parents

On October 4, 2016 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a person may establish themselves as a child’s presumptive parent without being biologically related to the child. In Partanen v. Gallagher, a same sex couple underwent assisted reproduction and one partner argued that the other was not a parent to the resulting children due to the lack of biological connection. The Court found that it is possible for an individual who is not biologically related to the child to present evidence that they are a parent to the child and that the lack of biological connection cannot be used to rebut this. In this case, the SJC did not have to decide whether the Plaintiff was a presumptive parent and instead sent the case back to probate court for determination. This ruling could have a tremendous effect on Family Law in the future and if you are involved in a complicated Family Law matter it is extremely important to have competent counsel by your side.

To see the details of the decision: No. SJC-12018.

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