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Lifting Same-Sex Marriage Ban In Florida Allows Lesbian Couple To Be Legally Recognised As Joint Parents

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A Florida judge has ruled that genetics are not required for parenthood.

This is a first in Florida, but by lifting of a same-sex marriage ban now means an infant has the right to call both women in a lesbian couple her parents.

Palm Beach Circuit Judge, Lisa Small, ruled that both Lisa Maxwell and Christine Stephens-Maxwell are the parents of 7-week-old Satori. Satori was born last month after Christine became pregnant through in-vitro fertilization. The couple had married in New York in 2012.

Florida law recognizes that a baby born to a married couple from in-vitro fertilization is the child of both husband and wife. But Circuit Judge Lisa Small extended that recognition to the spouse of the child-bearing wife, now that Florida recognizes same-sex marriages.

“To afford the constitutional protections to which petitioner is entitled, the court interprets ‘husband’ … to mean the spouse of the child-bearing wife.”

Palm Beach Circuit Judge Lisa Small

Before the ban was lifted earlier this month, Lisa would have had to adopt Satori.

maxwell-maxwell-small-james

“I can’t imagine having to go to a hospital, having to go to a school and being turned away and not recognized that this is my child who I love dearly”

Lisa Maxwell.

Lisa Maxwell’s petition also asked Small to recognize the couple’s out-of-state marriage, which she did.

“Not only can we get married, but we can create wonderful families.”

Christina Stephens-Maxwell

Small’s ruling builds on the ground-breaking federal court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage Jan. 6 in Florida.

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