Path2Parenthood Applauds New York State Court of Appeals on Brooke B. and Estrellita A. Decision

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Family Building Non-Profit Looks Towards the Future of the Child Parent Security Act

National nonprofit organization, Path2Parenthood (P2P), has long been on the front lines of advocating for all hopeful parents, and the families they create. This week’s decision by the New York State Court of Appeals on the Brooke B. and Estrellita A. case was met with enthusiasm by the group.

“As an inclusive national family building organization on the forefront of supporting all individuals: gay, straight, transgender, single, or partnered, Path2Parenthood applauds the decision of the New York Court of Appeals in Brooke B. and Estrellita A. This decision marks a significant step forward in protecting the rights of all LGBT parents and their children, as well as other individuals who have built their families through assisted reproductive technology. More remains to be done, and we are increasingly hopeful that the state of New York will pass the Child Parent Security Act,” says Ken Mosesian, Path2Parenthood’s Executive Director.

“The New York Court of Appeals decision in Brooke B. and Estrellita A., handed down on August 30, 2016, represents a huge victory for New Yorkers, particularly the LGBT community and unmarried couples having children with the assistance of medical technology. As a New York attorney practicing in the areas of adoption and reproductive law, I and my firm are proud to have played at least a small role in the case, by assisting in drafting one of the amicus curie briefs submitted in support of the non-biologically related parent,” said Denise Seidelman, Esq., a Path2Parenthood board member, and founding partner at Rumbold & Seidelman, LLP.

The decision, issued by the highest court in New York, overruled long-standing case law, which had severely limited the universe of persons who could seek custody or visitation of a child. Under that law, when the relationship between the child's biological parent and a non-biological parent ended, the non-biological parent who had not married the biological parent prior to the birth of the child could not seek custody or visitation, unless the non-biological parent had adopted the child. As a result, those who had assisted in the conception of a child and raised the child since birth had no right to even seek to have custody of or visitation with the child, if the biological parent opposed such contact. The Court decision in Brooke B. overruled that test, and held instead that so long as the facts and circumstances showed “by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and raise the child together,” the non-biological parent could seek custody or visitation, irrespective of whether he or she had adopted the child.

“The decision is a bellwether one, especially for the LGBT community, and those employing assisted reproductive technology to build their family. There is still a lot more work to be done in New York, to secure the legal relationships between parents and children conceived through third party reproduction (egg, sperm and embryo donation). Hopefully, the Court of Appeals decision will provide the momentum New York Legislators need to finally pass sensible legislation which will eliminate New York’s antiquated and punitive restrictions on gestational surrogacy. My law firm, together with a small group of other New York attorneys, has assisted in drafting legislation which will do exactly that, but unfortunately, that legislation has been pending in the New York Senate and Assembly for far too long without action. New Yorkers are urged to reach out to their Assembly Persons and Senators and encourage them to support the Child Parent Security Act which will serve to and support and protect children conceived through third party reproduction,” Seidelman added.

Path2Parenthood and its board of directors will continue to be pivotal to this effort in New York State, and in other states where advocacy on behalf of LGBT parents is needed.

About Path2Parenthood:
Path2Parenthood is an inclusive organization committed to helping people create their families of choice by providing leading-edge outreach programs and timely educational information. The scope of our work encompasses reproductive health, infertility prevention and treatment, and family-building options including adoption and third party solutions. Path2Parenthood is a national, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization headquartered in New York City.

Contact Info:

Corey Whelan
Program Director
(718) 853-1411

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Corey Whelan
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