Kansas Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Lesbian Mother’s Rights

In what is being called a groundbreaking decision, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday that the nonbiological mother of two children who was in a long-term lesbian relationship can have the same parental rights as the biological mother. 

Kansas_scThe case involves Kelly Goudschaal (who carried the children after undergoing artificial insemination) and her former partner, Marci Frazier. The Kansas City Star reports:

The couple had signed a co-parenting agreement that stated Frazier’s “relationship with the children should be protected and promoted,” and that they intended “to jointly and equally share parental responsibility.” After they separated, Goudschaal began limiting Frazier’s visitations and moved with the children to Texas.

Frazier filed a legal action seeking to have the parenting agreement enforced. After a trial, Johnson County District Judge Kevin Moriarty found that joint custody was “in the best interests of the children.”

Goudschaal was granted residential custody. Frazier was ordered to pay monthly child support and was granted “reasonable parenting time.”

As for the court's decision:

The Supreme Court said in Friday’s decision: “We have declared that the public policy in Kansas requires our courts to act in the best interests of the children when determining the legal obligations to be imposed and the rights to be conferred in the mother and child relationship.”

The court said that “what Goudschaal really wants is to renege on the co-parenting agreement without regard to the rights of or harm to the children, all in the name of constitutionally protected parental rights. “Surely, her constitutional rights do not stretch that far.”

Not enforcing the parenting agreement would deny the children the opportunity to have two parents as children in a traditional marriage would have, according to the court.

“The agreement is not injurious to the public because it provides the children with the resources of two persons, rather than leaving them as the fatherless children of an artificially inseminated mother,” the court ruled.


  1. QJ201 says

    And this is what the 100th case of one lesbian using lack of gay equality against a former partner in a child custody case?

  2. BobN says

    Uh… so the parent who cut off her partner and moved to another state with the kids gets custody? And the woman who was cut off now gets to pay her child support in exchange for “reasonable parenting time” with kids who now live in another state?

    Baby steps, I guess.

  3. Steve says

    Gay parents who use anti-gay laws to their advantage are even more disgusting than Christian fanatics.

  4. Stefan says

    Steve–So true. I can’t understand how selfish someone would have to be to take a path that could potentially damage law and policy for countless other LGBT couples down the road.

  5. Steve says

    Probably the worst example of that happened in North Carolina where such a case eventually ended with the NC supreme court declaring second parent adoptions to be illegal and punted their responsibility to a rabidly homophobic legislature.

  6. Marc says

    Did no one notice the court’s closing statement? “…it provides the children with the resources of two persons, rather than leaving them as the *”fatherless children of an artificially inseminated mother.”* Nice, Kansas, very nice. Make sure you get your backward-thinking, shameless holier-than-thou bigotry worked into your statement. It could have been *judiciously* stated as “providing the children with the resources of both parents rather than just one,” but instead manages to slam gay parents, single parents of any type and children born of artificial insemination. The failure of the state’s highest court to issue a judicious statement is very telling. Way to go, Kansas, three gaffes in a single ruling. Cretins. I am ashamed that I was born there.

  7. Cecil says

    Marc, I disagree- it’s a direct hit at the legislature’s possible attempt to amend state law to negate the enforcement of these parenting contracts. Also, if they did try to reverse it through the state legislature, I think the KS Supreme Court would still strike that statue down, for similar reasons possibly.

  8. JJ says

    I was seriously taken aback when I read the headline. My mind immediately started weaving bizarre scenarios to explain how Kansas could have issued such a ruling–starting with blackmail and ending with a rupture in the fabric of the universe through which an alternate court had slipped. (Granted, without more data on parallel universes, it’s really up in the air whether that’s more plausible than the Kansas court genuinely embracing gay rights, but common sense says a crack in Space-Time is more likely.) Then I read the story and saw that the court was actually faced with a truly vexing dilemma: do they direct their malevalence at gays or women? Whom do they hate more? What ruling will cause the most anguish? I must say their solution is fiendishly clever. Impose a financial burden on the lesbian that’s enforceable in Kansas and grant a purely symbolic custody victory that’s unenforceable in Texas, all while weakening the rights of single mothers.

  9. Marco Luxe says

    Wait until the custodial parent becomes born again and refiles in a Texas court. It’s res judicata, but she’ll count on the rabid TX Attorney General and Texas “justice” to throw a wrench in the KS SCt ruling and to rewrite “reasonable parenting time” to equal zero. Sad.