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Woman Denied Rights in Same-Sex Custody Dispute

Tuesday Oct 22, 2013

An Upper Peninsula woman has no rights to a child born to her former female partner.

The Michigan appeals court last week agreed with a Dickinson County judge who dismissed a lawsuit by Jennifer Stankevich. She was seeking custody and other rights.

Stankevich and Leanne Milliron had a same-sex marriage in Canada in 2007 but separated two years later. While Stankevich apparently had a role in the child's early life, Milliron is the biological mother and has the upper hand in any legal action.

Michigan doesn't recognize same-sex marriage. And because Stankevich is not the biological parent, her case ends there.

A federal judge in Detroit is considering a challenge to Michigan's ban on gay marriage and other laws affecting same-sex couples. A trial is scheduled for February.

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