UPDATE: Vermont Mother Asks Judge to Hold Ex-Partner in Contempt as Search for Missing Girl Continues
Janet Jenkins asked a Vermont judge on Monday to hold her ex-partner, Lisa Miller, in contempt of the court after Miller failed to turn over custody of the couple’s 7 year-old daughter. Jenkins has also asked that law enforcement assist in searching for the young girl, The Associated Press reports.
The whereabouts of Miller and daughter Isabella remain unknown.
Miller and Jenkins shared a civil union in 2000 and celebrated the birth of their daughter shortly thereafter. The couple split in 2003, however, and Miller allegedly “renounced homosexuality.”
According to The New York Times, Miller was first awarded custody of the couple’s daughter and Jenkins was granted liberal visitation rights. After Miller repeatedly denied Jenkins those visitation rights, a Vermont judge found her to be in contempt of the court and awarded full custody to Ms. Jenkins in Nov. 2009.
Yesterday, Jenkins issued a statement that appealed to the public for help in locating Isabella:
I am so worried about Isabella. I do not know where she is or whether she is okay.
Isabella is my daughter. Lisa and I decided together to have a child, and that we would use alternative reproductive technology to do so. We picked out a donor together. I was there with Lisa when she gave birth to Isabella. We gave her both our last names, since we were both her parents. After Isabella was born, Lisa and I cared for her together. We both fed her, played with her, changed her diapers, and loved her.
Eventually, the courts ruled that I was Isabella’s parent, but in my heart I’ve always known that. It was devastating to me, as I’m sure it was to Isabella, when Lisa withheld contact between me and my daughter.
My goal has never been to separate Isabella from Lisa. I just want Isabella to know and love both of her parents. I just want to be with her, like any parent.
Please help me find my child.
If you have any information in this case, please contact:
Sarah Star, Attorney at Law, Middlebury Vermont – 802-385-1023
Lisa Hardaway, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund – 973-902-9298
Carisa Cunningham, GLAD - 617-426-1350
Rebecca Glenberg, ACLU of Virginia – 804-644-8080
GLAAD will continue to follow the media’s coverage of Isabella Miller-Jenkins’s whereabouts. Updates can be found on GLAADblog.org