Does a biological parent have greater rights to a child than an individual whose parental rights are established through a preconception agreement?
In New York, “parent” is defined by case law. As a result, six distinct avenues now exist in establishing legal parentage of a child: biology, adoption, presumption of legitimacy through marriage, assertion of estoppel (equitable and judicial) and the existence of a preconception agreement to have and raise a child together. A recent decision on appeal to the Appellate Division, First Department (K. v. C.) suggests that a hierarchy exists to parental creation whereby biology sits at the top of the ladder and the Court of Appeals’ recently devised preconception agreement rests at its lowest rung.
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