August 23, 2005

Our Father Who Art in San Francisco

by Armen

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of California ruled (here, here, and here) that same-sex couples have full parental rights in California. (See LA Times article here).

California is the first state in the nation to do so, but the implications of these rulings cannot be understaed. Particularly, the following paragraph of Justice Moreno's opinion in Elisa B. is worth noting:

"We conclude, therefore, that Elisa is a presumed mother of the twins under section 7611, subdivision (d), because she received the children into her home and openly held them out as her natural children, and that this is not an appropriate action in which to rebut the presumption that Elisa is the twins’ parent with proof that she is not the children’s biological mother because she actively participated in causing the children to be conceived with the understanding that she would raise the children as her own together with the birth mother, she voluntarily accepted the rights and obligations of parenthood after the children were born, and there are no competing claims to her being the children’s second parent."

The openly holding out provision has been used to establish parentage for citizenship purposes. Since the federal government has no family law provisions, the CIS and other government agencies that deal with parental issues must rely on a State's definition of a parent. With respect to California parents at least, a child may in theory apply for citizenship if the same-sex partner of his/her biological mother is a citizen. Food for thought.

August 23, 2005 01:54 PM | TrackBack
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