Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lesbian mom wins custody of child; former partner flees with their daughter

"The birth mother of a 7-year-old Virginia girl must transfer custody of the child to the woman's former lesbian partner, a Vermont judge ruled, adding that it seems the woman has "disappeared" with her daughter," reports AP. Vermont Family Court Judge William Cohen ordered Lisa Miller (pictured) of Winchester, Va., to turn over daughter Isabella to Janet Jenkins of Fair Haven at 1 p.m. Friday at the Virginia home of Jenkins' parents. But in the Dec. 22 order denying Miller's request to delay the transfer of Isabella, Judge Cohen wrote: "It appears that Ms. Miller has ceased contact with her attorneys and disappeared with the minor child." Miller and Jenkins were joined in a Vermont civil union in 2000. Isabella was born to Miller through artificial insemination in 2002. The couple broke up in 2003, and Miller moved to Virginia, renounced homosexuality and became an evangelical Christian.

If Miller does not turn over Isabella, the most likely scenerio is that she would be held in contempt of court and a warrant would be issued for her arrest, said Cheryl Hanna, a professor of constitutional law at Vermont Law School. "I think the underlying thing is the fact that they are a lesbian couple doesn't mean that the court's going to treat this any differently than if they were a heterosexual couple," she said. READ MORE