On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled 4-2 that lesbians and gay men are de facto parents of children they raise, regardless of whether or not they are blood-related.
In the specific case, judges decided that a lesbian had the right to visit the child she helped raised now that she and her partner are separated. Justice Ruth Abrams said, “A child may be a member of a nontraditional family in which he is parented by a legal parent and a de facto parent. A de facto parent is one who has no biological relation to the child, but has participated in the child’s life as a member of the child’s family…It is to be expected that children of nontraditional families, like other children, form parental relationships with both parents, whether those parents are legal or de facto.”
In addition to establishing a wider definition of a parent, this ruling also gives gay and lesbian de facto parents more rights.