Custody battles are never easy, but they usually start with two parents listed on a birth certificate. A recent family law court case did not have the luxury of predetermined parents: Two women in a same-sex relationship used a friend's sperm to conceive their daughter, and the judge ruled that all three should be included on the child's birth certificate. While this has never happened in the state of Illinois, it could become an issue with the increasing number of legal rights same sex couples are receiving.
Three years ago, a man read an online classified ad by a female same-sex couple asking for someone to be their sperm donor for artificial insemination. He agreed to do it, and dropped off his donation at the women's house, where he and they entered into a written agreement indicating that he would have no parental rights or obligations.
The definition of "family" has changed so much over the past few years. In any neighborhood here in Lake County, for instance, there can be married and unmarried couples with or without children, single parents with children, grandparents raising their grandchildren ... as many different families as there are houses. Some families start off as more traditional, while others are forged by choices some of us didn't think possible not too many years ago.