Not Biological Same-Sex Partners Visitation Rights

In Matter of Alison D. v. Virginia M. (supra, at 655-657), the Court of Appeals held that same sex partners who are "biological strangers" to the children are not "parents" for purposes of New York's Domestic Relations Law, and, thus, have no standing under Domestic Relations Law 70 to petition for visitation when the children at issue are properly within the custody of a fit legal or biological parent. In reaching this conclusion, the Court reaffirmed the traditional New York rule that visitation is a modified form of custody, and that, as between a parent and a third person, parental custody of a child may not be displaced absent grievous cause or necessity (see also, Matter of Ronald FF. v. Cindy GG., 70 NY2d 141, 144). The Court of Appeals also affirmed the Appellate Division's ruling in Matter of Alison D. v. Virginia M. (155 AD2d 11, 14-15) that New York's exceptional or extraordinary circumstances doctrine does not apply to such circumstances.