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Missouri court rules in favor of lesbian seeking custody

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Missouri appeals court has ruled in favor of a lesbian woman trying to get custody or visitation with a child she helped raise with her former partner.

Appellate judges ruled Tuesday that the woman has a “loving parent-child relationship” that’s strong enough to qualify her to seek custody or visitation, even though she did not give birth to the child.

The St. Louis-area couple signed artificial insemination paperwork in 2011, lived together for another roughly three years while raising the child before splitting.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights praised the appellate court’s ruling that a lower court must reconsider custody for the woman who did not carry the child. An attorney for the woman who gave birth to the child didn’t comment, citing the pending case.