A Family Court judge has awarded full custody of a young child to her adopted mother, instead of her biological mom, in what is believed to be the first such New York state case involving a same sex couple.Reactions? Should biology trump adoption? Suppose this was a heterosexual stepparent adoption case -- the couple divorces, and the court considers custody. Should legal adoptive/step-mom or bio dad get custody? Reverse the sexes -- should legal adoptive/step-dad or bio mom get custody? Should these kinds of cases be decided as any other custody case, disregarding distinctions of biology or adoption?
Manhattan real estate attorney Allison Scollar defeated the little girl’s biological mom, Emmy-winning TV producer Brook Altman in a bitter court battle, the Post has learned.
“Love doesn’t just come from biology,” a relieved Scollar, 50, said days after being awarded custody and decision-making authority for her daughter, who turns 6 tomorrow. “And the minute I saw this little baby, I knew she was mine.
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Manhattan Judge Gloria Sosa-Lintner said, “Although . . . Altman is the biological parent, this does not give her an automatic priority over the adoptive parent. This is analogous to a father getting custody of his own child, where only the best interests of the child are paramount.”
Scollar, the judge ruled, “is indeed the more responsible parent looking out for the child’s best interests, not her own interests” — while the 47-year-old Altman “behaved more as a friend or older sister than a responsible parent.”
Altman, who is co-CEO of the consulting and life coaching company The Handel Group, said, “This is just the end of the first phase. The judge ignored the evidence and issued a decision that is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. We’re appealing this decision and I’m confident we’re going to prevail.”
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
In Gay Couple Custody Dispute, AP Wins over Bio Parent
The New York Post reports on a custody case pitting biological mother against her partner who adopted the child: