Can my mother take custody of my child because I'm a lesbian?

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Question:

I am in a lesbian relationship and we have a four-year-old son who is biologically mine. He doesn't have a father and we want to do a formal guardianship or adoption so that he can be on my partner's medical insurance and flight benefits. My mother has threatened to take custody of him just because of the situation, but she cannot prove me unfit. Would she stand a better chance of getting him if my partner had legal rights? Would that hurt me?

Answer:

As you know best, you are in a complicated situation -- and one in which a strategy you apply to any one aspect can have rippling effects.

It's best if you and your partner do not go it alone here. You need competent legal advice from a lawyer familiar with the adoption, guardianship, and custody laws in Georgia, particularly as applied to lesbian mothers.

Contacting a gay/lesbian legal advocacy organization would be a starting point. Try the National Center for Lesbian Rights or the Southern Regional Office of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund in Atlanta, Georgia.

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