In what is being lauded as a positive move in the fight for gay rights, a New York Family Court judge awarded full custody of a 6-year-old girl to her adoptive mother, not the woman who birthed her.Allison Scollar, a Manhattan real estate attorney, won custody of the unnamed girl from her partner, TV producer Brook Altman, the New York Post reported Monday, saying this is the first such ruling in a same-sex custody battle in New York.
“Although . . . Altman is the biological parent, this does not give her an automatic priority over the adoptive parent,” Judge Gloria Sosa-Lintner ruled. “This is analogous to a father getting custody of his own child, where only the best interests of the child are paramount.”
Sosa-Lintner added that Altman was the less responsible parent and often sacrificed her daughter’s school for the sake of play dates or sleeping in.
The Scollar-Altman custody battle comes at a time when the fight for gay rights is making headlines across the country.
Last week, Edith Windsor, an 83-year-old lesbian, argued the unconstitutionality of the defence of Marriage Act, claiming she was forced to pay an exorbitant amount in federal estate taxes after her partner died in 2009.
DOMA allows the federal government to recognise only marriages between a man and a woman, which often forces gay couples to pay more in taxes.
A federal appeals court in Boston recently found the core of the act to be unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court is expected to hear gay marriage cases this term, which begins today.
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