The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that a Seminole County woman can have visitation rights to the son she adopted with her ex-partner.
The couple, identified in court documents only as C.P. and G.P., broke up and the birth mother took their 6-year-old and cut off contact.
The Aug. 11 Supreme Court ruling backs a previous ruling in Daytona Circuit Court that the adoptive mother has custody rights. It was a single-page order signed by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and four of the other six justices concurred: Barbara Pariente, Charles Canady, Ricky Polston and James Perry, but not Justices Peggy Quince or R. Fred Lewis.
The Daytona circuit ruling, which came down in May, overturned a previous ruling by a Seminole County judge who nullified the adoption.
The women were in a committed relationship from 2005 to 2012 and conceived the child in 2007 using an anonymous donor.
The birth mother changed her last name to match her partner’s and child’s, and the two women raised the child together. In 2011, they petitioned the court to allow the birth mother’s partner to legally adopt their child, and the adoption was granted in 2012. The couple received a birth certificate listing both of their names as parents. The women separated and co-parented for a year, but then the birth mother requested that the adoption be voided. The Seminole County judge granted that request.
The May Daytona ruling states that the child was raised by both women, regards them equally as parents and the birth mother is wrong to argue otherwise.
“It would be unconscionable to allow [birth mother] to invoke the jurisdiction of the court for the sole purpose of creating a parent-child relationship between [partner] and [child] and then to allow her to destroy that same relationship because her relationship with [partner] has ended,” the ruling states.