Court: Same Sex Partner Cannot Seek Custody Of Child

New Mexico – The state Court of Appeals has ruled the same-sex partner of an adoptive mother can't seek custody of the couple's child but may request visitation.

A divided court decided Wednesday that New Mexico laws provide no legal right for a Santa Fe-area woman to bring a lawsuit asking for custody of the child, who was adopted by her partner during their 15-year relationship.

The court's majority said the state's custody law applies to biological or adoptive parents, and third parties such as the unmarried partner of an adoptive parent can't seek child custody unless the parent is unfit.

Judge Michael E. Vigil dissented, saying a partner should be able to seek custody when a parent-child bond has formed.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.