Supreme Court, Monroe County
Same Sex Marriage — Child Custody
Artificial Insemination — Non-Biological Parent
Wendy G-M v. Erin G-M
Background: At issue in the underlying divorce action, the court was required to determine whether a parent who is not the biological spouse is a parent of a child conceived by artificial insemination. The parties were married before New York enacted its Marriage Equality Act. At the time of insemination, the parties signed a document that declared that any child or children born as a result of a pregnancy following artificial insemination shall be accepted as the legal issue of the marriage.
Ruling: The Monroe County Supreme Court held that the non-biological spouse is a parent under the common law of New York as much as the birth mother. The court held that to impose the presumption of consent for couples in a heterosexual marriage, but not for those in a same-sex one, when both are similarly situated, but for sexual orientation, would reverse the gender-neutral approach to New York’s families canonized in the MEA.
Joanne Best for the plaintiff; Jeanne Colombo for the defendant