On Aug. 30, a New York state court ruled that non-biological and non-adoptive parents may be granted visitation and custody rights if a couple ends their relationship. The latest ruling overturns a ruling in 1991 made by the same court that defined a parent as someone who was the child's biological parent or who had a connection to the child through adoption.
The ruling acknowledged that the 1991 decision came before same-sex marriages were legal in the state, and the evolving nature of family relationships makes that standard unworkable today. To be granted custody or visitation rights today, an individual must show that there was clear intent to conceive or raise a child with his or her partner. Furthermore, custody and visitation rights will only be granted if it is considered to be in the best interest of the child.