Another Lesbian Custody Battle, Another Vindictive Mother

MISSOULA, MT–I’ve often discussed the issue of the rights of lesbian “social mothers’–women who agreed to employ a sperm donor so that they could have children with their lesbian partners, who are the biological mothers.

I do believe that children fare best when they have both a mom and a dad, and that fathers offer much to children that mothers don”t provide. However, this is not possible in lesbian couples.

When two lesbians agree to have a child together, and when the child has bonded with both his or her biological mother and his or her social mother, I believe that the relationship between the child and the social mother should be protected. I also believe that the biological mother has a responsibility to her children and to her former partner to hold up her end of the deal with the partner with whom she created the child, and that courts should hold her to her commitment.

These cases are now becoming routine. When the relationship goes sour, the lesbian biological mom does to her ex exactly what heterosexual mothers so often do to their ex-husbands–drive her out of her child”s life. When heterosexual women do this, our society makes excuses for them and assumes that the ex-husband must have done something bad to merit it. With these lesbian breakups we can see the truth much clearer–some women (straight or gay) are vindictive, and this vindictiveness drives them to purge their exes from their children”s lives.

The Montana case detailed by the Associated Press below is another example. Also notice this common theme–the lesbian biological mother is so vindictive that she employed a conservative, anti-gay group to legally pursue her vendetta against her ex.

From Former same-sex partner gets parental rights (Associated Press, 9/30/08):

MISSOULA, Mont. – A judge ruled in favor of a woman who sought parental rights to a boy and girl adopted by her former same-sex partner, a decision described as a first for Montana.

Michelle Kulstad sought joint custody of two children — an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl — adopted by Barbara Maniaci. In his ruling Monday, District Judge Ed McLean agreed.

“To discriminate further against Ms. Kulstad because of her sexual preference in this day and age is no different than telling a person to go to the back of the bus because of her skin color,” McLean wrote.

Attorneys for both sides have said the same-sex parental rights trial was a first for the state, whose voters in 2004 rejected same-sex marriage by about a 2-to-1 margin.

McLean said Kulstad was a legal parent, even though Maniaci adopted the children — the boy in 2004 and the girl in 2006. The judge said Kulstad must receive joint decision-making authority in the children’s lives, including their health care and spiritual upbringing.

Kulstad and Maniaci lived together in the Missoula area for 10 years, raising the children in tandem before ending the relationship in 2006, according to evidence presented at the non-jury trial in May.

Maniaci, who is now married, argued that she and her husband should be able to raise the children as they see fit. She said Kulstad was neither their adoptive parent nor a biological relative.

Austin R. Nimocks, who represented Maniaci, did not return a phone call seeking comment Monday. Nimocks also is senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal agency.

Kulstad said she was not listed the adoption records because it is illegal in Montana for same-sex couples to adopt.

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