Visitation Rights of Lesbian Partners in New York

In Alison D. v. Virginia M., 77 N.Y.2d 651, 572 N.E.2d 27 (1991), lesbian partners were jointly raising the biological child of one of the partners. Once the relationship terminated, the parties established a regular schedule of visitation for the nonparent which continued for four years. The Court acknowledged that the nonparent had established a close and loving relationship with the child, who called both women "mommy" However, the Court specifically declined "to read the term parent in section 70 to include categories of nonparents who have developed a relationship with a child or who have had prior relationships with a child's parents and who wish to continue visitation with the child." Id., at 657, 572 N.E.2d 27, 569 N.Y.S.2d 586. The Court affirmed the dismissal of the nonparent's visitation application for lack of standing.