February 25, 2013

The Kansas Supreme Court [official website] on Friday ruled [opinion, PDF] that a non-biological mother of children conceived using assisted reproductive technologies has parentage rights under Kansas law. Kelly Goudschaal and Marci Frazier were in a committed, long-term, same-sex relationship and had two children via artificial insemination. The couple executed a co-parenting agreement and after they separated, Frazier filed suit to enforce the agreement. The district court found jurisdiction under the Kansas Parentage Act (KPA) [PDF] to consider Frazier's claim and awarded the couple joint legal custody. Goudschaal appealled, asserting that she was the only person with a constitutionally protected status of parent and that Frazier was an unrelated third party. The Supreme Court held that a woman can make a claim to being a presumptive mother of a child without claiming to be the biological or adoptive mother, and, therefore, jurisdiction was properly granted.