Originally Posted by maxsnafu
Yeah, let's see the lawyers & family court judges sort this out:
"Let’s say a lesbian woman is in a gay civil marriage, and she chooses to save time and money, or maybe she just wants to have some fun on the side (many “lesbians” actually do sleep with straight men from time to time), and gets pregnant in the cheap, conventional way — by *****. When pregnant she assures her partner that the child will be theirs, but neglects to tell the man she’s pregnant, or her partner how she got pregnant — let’s say she lied and said she used donor sperm. Later, she files for divorce and initiates a paternity suit against the biological father at the same time in an effort to kill two birds with one stone (deep-six the lesbian lover’s custody chances and get child support at the same time). In the meanwhile, the non-maternal partner had legally adopted the child. But the man never knew he had a kid, and after he’s hit with the paternity suit he gets involved and sues for visitation, arguing that he should have a right to see the child he didn’t know about. If you’re a judge, how do you settle this? Does the non-maternal lesbian pay child support and keep visitation rights, or does the father take on that role? What does the judge do about the adoption? Does the child have the right to a relationship with his biological father, or a non-related lesbian “father?” And keep in mind that this is simply one of many possible permutations of the custody problem that could arise in lesbian civil marriages."
Lawyers make things difficult...
There was recently a case in I believe Sweden (could have been Norway or Finland) where this very thing happened.
The lesbians filed divorce; the sperm donor was in fact sued for and had to pay child support even though it was through a donation center. Personally, I think that
is wrong. As I recall, the man had no leg to stand on to prove he didn't sleep with the woman even though there was clear evidence she used the center. Objectively, I can see the point - how do you prove you didn't sleep with the woman five years ago?
However, in your scenario I see it going this way
The fact the one partner "assured" the child would be theirs is moot. How she got pregnant is moot - if a guy plays with fire and gets burned...its on him. I'm not sure why the non-maternal partner would have to adopt the child - its probably sound advice from an attorney for some tax/legal reason.
However, in the end I would assume blood trumps adoption. I know I've read of several cases where an adopted child was pursued by his/her birth mother years (in one case I recall ten years) later and the court's granted the custody back to the birth mother.
I don't know the case law but here is Wisconsin it seems like a birth mother's rights are very difficult to take away and very easy to reinstate. I know of one case (my cousin) it took the executors of her dead father's estate five years to finally take her kids away and grant them to her sister - even though she had a rap sheet a mile long involving drugs, prostitution, petty theft, etc. She wasn't working, had moved a dozen or more times in 5 years because of problems with land lords, etc. If I gave you all the details it would shock you it took "the system" five years to realize she is unfit. She had a convicted pedophile watching her children when she went to the bar to get drunk....
This said, she has been seen at her younger son's recitals even though the adopted parents have a restraining order