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Transgender father denied custody and visitation rights

Though same-sex marriage is now legal in every state including Oklahoma, there is still a lot of legal confusion around same-sex child custody issues. In Maryland, a transgender man who was involved in a same-sex relationship before his transition has been denied the right to see his child after a divorce. Although the man was married to the child's biological mother, a trial court found that he is a 'legal stranger" to the child he raised for two years.

Prior to the man's gender transition, he was in a committed same-sex relationship for almost 10 years. The couple conceived a son through artificial insemination using an anonymous sperm donor before gay marriage was legalized. According to reports, the anonymous sperm donor was chosen based on his resemblance to the transgender man, and the child was given the transgender man's last name. A few months after the child was born, the couple married legally in Washington, D.C. After parenting their son together for two years, the couple divorced.

When the transgender man petitioned the court for visitation of his son, his ex-wife told the court that she had no children with him. The court sided with the ex-wife, finding that the father had no biological or adoptive relationship to his child. An appellate court upheld the trial court's ruling in August, and the man has been unable to see his son for over two years.

A person who is involved in a same-sex marriage with children should consult an attorney if divorce is under consideration. An attorney may be able to help the individual to ensure that they have legal parental rights before filing any divorce paperwork.

Source: LGBTQ Nation, "Transgender man fights denial of child visitation rights," Oct. 25, 2015

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