Virginia Beach Judge Rules In Lesbian Custody Battle

The Circuit Court judge says, "Of course she is a parent".


Gabriella DeLuca

Lauren and Karen Poole were legally married in Maryland in 2013 and chose to use artificial insemination to conceive in 2014.

The couple used donated sperm from a mutual friend and Karen gave birth to the couple’s child.

Now, the couple have separated and have been going through a custody battle. In a landmark decision, a Virginia Beach judge ruled that Lauren Poole has equal parental rights to the child she had with Karen.

In his ruling, Circuit Court judge Steven Frucci said, “Of course she is a parent.”

The ruling now allows Lauren to have a say in the custody arrangements and will also allow her visitation rights after the end of this month.

After the ruling, Lauren said, “It felt amazing…to finally hear what I already knew and what I already felt.”

Barbara Fuller, Lauren’s attorney, spoke about the importance and impact this ruling will have on custody laws throughout the country. She said, “All of the laws all across the country are going to need to change to reflect the new legal landscape with regard to same-sex marriage, specifically with regards to parenting.”  

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