Presumed Parentage for Same-Sex Couples

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In the ever-evolving law regarding the appropriate standard to use when evaluating who qualifies as a “presumed parent,” the subject is particularly confusing with regard to evaluating the presumption among same-sex couples. However, a recent case has been published which helps to articulate and clarify the current standard, without regard to the respective genders of each parent. This case is important because not only does it help clarify the correct standard for applying the presumption of parentage, but it also demonstrates how fact-specific the particular findings in each case must be. As family law attorneys advising couples in a relationship where one party is not the biological parent of their child, it is important to identify and distinguish factors which can give rise to the presumption of parentage. As in “E.C. v. J.V.,” the “intention” of the biological parent will not trump the many factors which can show that the non-biological parent “receives the child into [his or her] home and openly holds out the child as [his or her] natural child” (Family Code Section 7611(d)).

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