Psychological Parentage In New Jersey

The issue of psychological parentage has been addressed in V.C. v. M.J.B., 163 N.J. 200, 205, 748 A.2d 539 (2000), where the lesbian partner of the biological mother sought visitation based upon the fact that she was a "psychological parent." In that case, the issue of psychological parentage was affirmatively asserted, whereas in the present case, it is being asserted defensively. However, whether being asserted as a sword or a shield, the test enunciated must be the same when determining whether a party has been a "psychological parent" to a child: The legal parent must consent to and foster the relationship between the third party and the child; the third party must have lived with the child; the third party must perform parental functions for the child to a significant degree; and most important, a parent-child bond must be forged. Id. at 223, 748 A.2d 539.