Mamas vs. Papas, Part 2: Judge Grants Gay Dad Parental Rights

It started with good intentions. Two sets of gay parents -- all close friends -- would make and raise a baby together. Ray Janssen, a fit war vet, would artificially inseminate Katherine Alicea, an ambitious real estate agent. Katherine's partner would be a second mother and Ray's partner a second father.

Once the baby was born, both couples were loving and involved in the boy's life. But then things got complicated. Katherine moved to California and Ray couldn't go with her. He pushed for joint custody in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, and she fought him.

Gender Bender wrote about the case last July, after Judge Leon Firtel found Ray had no more rights than a sperm donor.

Three weeks ago -- in a rare decision -- the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the ruling. "The parties do not have a written contract governing their relationship," the judge wrote. "It is impossible to conclude the [women] were a commissioning couple." The courts will now treat Ray like any other biological father. He'll be reunited with his child after 18 months, according to his lawyer, Gerald Kornreich.

View the sad and fascinating case here:


A word for gay parents thinking about alternative families: Draw up a contract. Everything changes when a baby is in the picture.

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Natalie O'Neill
Contact: Natalie O'Neill