Spouse can be Responsible for Paying for Child Whom She is not Allowed to Visit With?

Conover v. Conover is a recently decided case by the Court of Special Appeals involving a lesbian couple. In that case, a spouse, who was neither the biological nor adoptive parent, of a child conceived (through artificial insemination), before the marriage, was determined to have no parental rights, including even visitation rights with the Child. This, despite the fact that the estranged couple were involved in a romantic relationship when the child was conceived and the child and the biological mother addressed the non-biological spouse as the father. The majority opinion stated “…a person seeking visitation who is not a biological or adoptive parent is a third party,” and “marriage in and of itself alone does not confer parental status to contest child access opposed by a biological parent.”

In a concurring opinion Judge Douglas Nazarian claimed that, under the current law, a spouse could potentially have no right to visit with the same child that he or she would be obligated to support financially.

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