Virginia court lets stand ruling on child-visitation rights for lesbian mom

The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a ruling that Virginia must enforce a Vermont court order awarding child-visitation rights to a lesbian mom.

The decision let stand a victory for Janet Jenkins [pictured], who has been fighting for visitation rights since the dissolution of the civil union she and her partner obtained in Vermont in 2000. Jenkin’s partner gave birth to the daughter, Isabella, in 2002, and the child was at the center of a legal battle.

Jenkins married Lisa Miller in a Vermont civil union, and Miller became pregnant with their daughter via IVF. Miller then left Jenkins and fled to Virginia with the baby – refusing to let Jenkins visit their daughter. A Vermont judge dissolved the civil union and granted visitation rights to Jenkins, although she did not adopt Isabella – now 5-years-old.

When the Vermont court ordered visitation for Jenkins, Miller filed a new lawsuit in a Virginia court, using that state’s antigay marriage law to have herself declared the child’s sole legal parent.

Image: Vyto Starinskas/Rutland Herald