In recent days, a New Jersey family court has had difficulty establishing parental guidelines for a particularly strange case involving a minor who has been parented by three parties for most of her life. The child was conceived under an agreement between her mother, father, and father’s domestic party. The parenting method, which was dubbed “Tri-Parenting” by the parties involved seemed to be a fairly decent model up until the mother involved in the parenting triangle decided to move to California with the child. The child’s biological partner and his domestic partner decided to go to court to attain the legal right to keep the child in New Jersey. This presented a difficult situation for the New Jersey family court system.
The major problem for the New Jersey family court system was the agreement set up by the parents before the conception of the child. The group of three individuals agreed that they would conceive a child together and raise her as a group. The group used the mother’s egg and one of the domestic partner’s sperm while giving the child the last name of the remaining domestic partner. While the child initially resided with the entire group (as they lived together during the first year or so of her life), she eventually resided with the mother most of the time when her biological father and his domestic partner gained a separate residence.
After establishing separate residences, the mother of the child eventually acted as the primary parent. According to court documents, the mother began to refuse to acknowledge the alleged parenthood of the biological father’s domestic partner and communicated only with the biological father. The mother also allegedly interfered with the visitation of the child with her biological father and his domestic partner. During periods where the child would reside with the biological father, the mother would call the child repetitively and send daily cards. This behavior was viewed by the court as interference with the child’s visitation. The court eventually made the ruling that the mother would not be legally allowed to relocate the child to California. While the court ruled that the child would be best served by residing with the biological father and his domestic partner, they had difficulty establishing parenthood with the domestic partner because neither biological parent was neglectful.