Lesbian Custody Case Returns to Courtroom

Last year, District judge Frank Plaut of Colorado’s Jefferson County awarded two former lesbian partners joint custody of their daughter and ordered that the girl should remain in Colorado. The child’s biological mother, Kelly Cunningham, now wants to move her daughter across the country to live with her male partner in New York. The case is slated to return to a Jefferson County court today.

Cunningham and Bueker began living together in 1987 and celebrated the birth of their daughter in 1989. Bueker never legally adopted the child and is not listed on her birth certificate.

Executive Director Kate Kendell of the National Center for Lesbian Rights reported that the number of lesbian custody cases in the U.S. has grown in recent years. Kendell said that the biological mother is awarded custody in about 70% of the cases. Kendell said of the recent case, “The most important issue is that this family be treated by the court in the same way the court would treat a heterosexual-headed household with the very same issues presented.”


Reuters - March 18, 1999

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