Legal & Financial

Two moms must share custody between California and Texas

A Bay Area woman has won the right to parental status and visits with the daughter of her former lesbian partner – who moved away when their daughter was 3-months old.

Charisma R., had been fully involved in conceiving and taking care of the child and was legally the child’s co-parent. The ruling also allows her to argue for reimbursement of the costs of traveling to Texas, where her ex-partner lives with their now 6-year-old daughter.

“I love my daughter dearly, and I am relieved the courts have recognized that children born to same-sex couples deserve the emotional, financial and physical support of both their parents,” Charisma said in a statement released by her lawyers at the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The ruling shows that California courts will protect both members of a same-sex couple who decide to have a child together, “even if they break up when the child is young,” Cathy Sakimura, one of Charisma’s attorneys, said Tuesday.

She said Charisma, who was not allowed to see the child for five years, began visiting her last year under an Alameda County judge’s order. The couple had lived in Newark, and Charisma now lives in Santa Clara County, Sakimura said.