I guess it is a good thing that the courts are now relying more on science to test whether a caregiver is the ‘biological parent’ when it comes to caring for children. But honestly, right now it seems a little messy so I guess we’ll have to wait to see how things work out.
It seems that our State Supreme Court has decided that it’s not necessarily true that a parent who acts as the child’s parent, boy this is going to get messy isn’t it? What I mean to say is that a guardian who is not the biological parent may have no further responsiblity toward the child if a divorce occurs.
There was a situation that the courts are considering that would simply accept that a child was the responsiblity of a parent if they held the child out as their own. This all came from a case in which a woman had an affair and her husband didn’t divorce her over the affair, but raised the child born as a result of the affair as if it was his own. Then when their marriage fell apart she sued him for child support. The court decided that her request was reasonable due to something called parent estoppel, which meant that if you act like a parent, you are seen as the parent.
Well, the new rules say that isn’t going to be necessarily true anymore! The court believes that it is reasonable to look at both the biological father and the guardian and decide what is in the child’s best interest.
This case wouldn’t be in court if the guardian or ‘father in name only’ had adopted the child. Instead, the child was just living in his house with the other family members as if he was a child to that father.
It’s great news for the non-biological parents who have been required to pay for children who weren’t their own, but it’s going to make things a little messy with adoptions and ‘surrogate families’ till the new rules get fully worked out.
While it might be okay if parents adopted children as their own, I’m wondering what happens when 2 gay parents want to adopt a child. Does PA acknowledge a family with 2 male parents? Or two female parents?
It’s a lot to think about isn’t it?