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Same Sex Parent Denied Visitation

divorce family attorneyNew York State Supreme Court Justice, John C. Bivona, recently ruled the estranged spouse of Marley Bishop, the daughter of United States Congressman, Timothy Bishop, did not have any parental rights to visitation because the parties’ son was born before New York passed the Same Sex Marriage Act in 2011.

The Judge ruled Mercedes Counihan did not have legal standing to seek custody or visitation of the parties’ son, who was two years of age. Ms. Counihan’s partner, Marley Bishop, had carried the baby after she had been artificially inseminated. The Judge’s ruling was that the non-biological parent did not have standing to raise the issue of access to the child or assert parenting rights.

Same Sex Marriage In Connecticut in 2009

Bishop and Counihan were married in the State of Connecticut in the year 2009. Both women executed documents related to the in-vitro process. Counihan was present at the birth of the child. Counihan claimed the child referred to her a “Mommy.” Judge Bivona found “neither consent by the birth mother to co-parent the child with the plaintiff nor approval to permit to adoption of the child” existed in the case.

The attorney for Counihan claimed the ruling was “outrageous.” She stated the Courts decision did not take into consideration the fact Counihan appears on the little boy’s birth certificate.

In a statement made after the court’s decision, Counihan said “this is about parents and a little boy and that boy is my son, too. He should not be taken from me and I should not be erased from his life because a marriage fell apart.” She stated her attorney was appealing the court’s decision.

About The Author

child advocacy and assistance for parentsElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. and his staff of attorneys litigate cases involving mothers’ parental rights and fathers’ parental rights.

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore