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Same-sex parents support bill that could protect their children

Same-sex couples can face challenges when trying to obtain guardianship of their children, and custody battles during a split can be even more challenging. Regardless of a couple's sexual orientation, the end of a relationship is a stressful time for everyone involved, and the best interests of the children involved should be paramount. In many same-sex relationships, determining legal rights to a child can be more complicated, leading to custody issues.

California Governor Jerry Brown began looking into a bill that will allow children to have more than two legally recognized parents. For many same-sex couples, this legislation would draw wide support.

The bill stems from a case in which both partners of a lesbian couple were unable to tend to their child due to hospitalization and incarceration. The biological father of the child in question was willing to take custody, but the court did not recognize him as a legal parent and the child was almost placed in foster care. Passage of this bill would prevent situations like this not only for same-sex couples, but children of heterosexual couples as well. It would only be invoked when necessary to protect the "best interest of the child."

If this bill is passed, it is possible that something similar could be considered at some point in time in New Jersey. The bill has drawn wide support from same-sex couples that seek to protect their children. This could possibly cut down on some of the litigation surrounding custody battles that ensue when a same-sex couple parts ways.

Source: kmjnow.com, "Bill to Legally Add Parents Starts Dispute," Sept. 12, 2012

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