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Same-sex couples may face discrimination in child custody cases

Same-sex couples in California may have adopted children and many may have biological children through assisted reproduction, but when it comes to child custody disputes, they are still subject to discrimination of a certain kind. Many gay or lesbian residents may have been in a heterosexual partnership before publically acknowledging their homosexuality, so they may face child custody disputes from the partner from the previous relationship.

Many same-sex couples face discrimination from the judicial system because courts in certain states often assume that same-sex couples are less suited to parent children. Some courts may also prohibit a lesbian or gay parent from visiting the child with his or her same-sex partner. Despite measures adopted to grant equal rights to same-sex couples, in many states, a strong judicial animosity toward same-sex couples as parents still exists.

Although equal civil legal rights for gay and lesbian couples has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, these couples still may face discrimination in child custody cases. What many fail to realize is that when a homosexual parent is denied custody or visitation rights, the child bears the brunt of this discrimination. Such discrimination deprives a child of the time and attention from a parent who loves them, and may even compel the child to assume certain negative things about that parent or homosexuality in general because society is not open to it.

However, the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that made same-sex marriage a legal right nationwide may help to bring about certain changes that may cause any remaining discrimination to wane.

Any homosexual or lesbian couple facing discrimination regarding child custody may find it useful to consult an attorney to retain their parental rights.

Source: AmericanBar.org, "Lesbian and Gay Parents in Child Custody and Visitation Disputes," Kate Kendell, Accessed on Aug. 21, 2015

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