July 22, 2009

New Case Law – Paternity

As a Portland Oregon divorce law firm, Stephens & Margolin LLP is dedicated to keeping up to date on Oregon Court of Appeals and Oregon Supreme Court opinions. As a service of The Oregon Divorce Blog, we will be providing updates as new opinions come out.
On July 15, 2009, the Court of Appeals ruled in the case of Shineovich and Kemp, in which the Petitioner challenged the constitutionality of tow statutes under which a married man is deemed to be the legal parent of children born to his wife.
Petitioner and Respondent were in a same sex relationship for 10 years, during which respondent became pregnant by artificial insemination. After they separated, Petitioner brought suit seeking a declaration that she was the legal parent. She alleged that Oregon Law created a privilege for married men as being the legal father of a child born to their wife, but not for same sex couples. The trial court dismissed the claim on legal grounds.
The parties had obtained a marriage license through Multnomah County prior to the child being born with the intent that the marriage would give Petitioner legal parentage. The marriage was subsequently declared void by operation of law. Respondent then became pregnant again, giving birth after the parties had separated. Respondent denied Petitioner contact with that child.
The court of appeals held that the statute which concerns artificial insemination, ORS 109.243, violates Article I, Section 20, of the Oregon constitution, and that its protections should be expanded to include legal parenthood by operation of law for the domestic partner of a woman who conceives a child by artificial insemination.
The entire opinion can be viewed here: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A138013.htm
The lawyers at Stephens & Margolin LLP can assist you with your family law appellate questions. If you have any questions about Oregon appellate law please contact Daniel Margolin, who focuses part of his practice on family law appeals, or C. Sean Stephens at Stephens & Margolin LLP