Someone may look like a parent, act like a parent and even by contract be considered a parent, but under Florida law biology always wins. A Florida appellate court has found unenforceable a “co-parenting agreement” that “jointly and equally” gave parental authority to a lesbian couple to raise a 5-year-old boy. Only the parent who was biologically related to the child had parental rights, which includes the right to withhold time-sharing from the other parent.

The Second District Court of Appeal in Springer v, Springer held that a biological parent could not be forced to share parental rights with a nonbiologically related second parent, despite their expressed intent to raise the child together. The couple signed a co-parenting agreement, “lived together as a family unit” for several years, and the second parent even paid child support. The court, however, found that intent was irrelevant.

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