Try and follow along:
- Wife and husband enter into agreement with another woman (whom they have an open relationship with) to bear a child for them
- All three would raise the child together
- Wife leaves husband to be with the woman who carried their child
- Divorce ensues
- Judge chastises husband for having a child with his wife’s “best friend”
- Son recognizes two women as his mothers
- Predicted ending: Child ends up in therapy…
From Yahoo: A bizarre case in New York culminated into what might be the first such case of a man, woman, and mother of a child being awarded a so-called tri-custody ruling. Michael Marano, the father in this case, and his ex-wife, Dawn Marano, entered into an open relationship with a neighbor, who bore Marano’s son in 2007.
According to the New York Post’s examination of the case, Mr. Marano and his wife were unable to bear children, so they agreed to enter an arrangement with neighbor Audria Garcia, all living in Long Island. The Maranos, who married in 1994, entered into their partnership with Garcia in 2001 while she lived below them.
Suffolk County Supreme Court Judge H. Patrick Leis III ruled in this case, stating to the court that “No one told these three people to create this unique relationship.” Judge Leis’s ruling went into the history of the relationship, which took place after Garcia left a boyfriend, who lived in the same complex when the “intimate relations” with the couple began.
Judge Leis’s ruling revealed that the couple and Garcia agreed to have the boy, born Jan. 25, 2007, and would raise him together. At first, the relationship seemed to be in sync, with everyone caring for the child, but things took a turn when Mrs. Marano left her husband to be with Garcia exclusively around the time their son turned 18 months. The new couple picked up and moved to Central Islip, N.Y., in 2008.
Mr. Marano sued Garcia for custody of their son. Mrs. Marano sued her husband for divorce. Joint custody was granted between Mr. Marano and Garcia, but Mrs. Marano, who developed a relationship with the son, didn’t have a legal right to custody.
The court reports that Mrs. Marano, who shares a home with Garcia, filed a suit for custody rights to the son. The case went to trial, which ended on March 8 with Judge Leis slamming Mr. Marano for having a child with “his wife’s best friend.”
Judge Leis says the son recognizing both Garcia and Mrs. Marano as mothers swayed him to deliver the ruling. There have been other tri-parenting cases but none to the level of the Maranos and Garcia.
Similar cases in recent past
In 2016, a high-profile matter involving a gay married couple in New Jersey and their friend made headlines. One of the husbands donated sperm and the other gave their daughter his last name. For a while, the partnership was harmonious until the mother got into a relationship with a man who wanted to move the woman and her daughter to California.
The couple protested the move and the nonbiological father took the case to New Jersey courts. While the court agreed that the man (named Shawn in the court documents) had a true bond with their daughter, the New Jersey Parentage Act would only view the proper parent as biological or adoptive. However, as a “psychological parent,” the nonbiological father could still fight for custody. The court sided with the couple and barred the move to California.
A few states do allow children to have more than two parents. California passed a bill in 2013 allowing the parenting arrangement to stand if a child has two mothers and a father. Alaska, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington all recognize third-parent adoptions in special cases. In Washington, D.C., and Delaware, sperm or egg donors can be recognized as parents legally. The exact number of three-parent adoptions allowed isn’t known because of privacy concerns.