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Alison D. v. Virginia M.

572 N.E.2d 27 (1991)

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Alison D. v. Virginia M.

New York Court of Appeals

572 N.E.2d 27 (1991)

Facts

In 1980, Alison D. (plaintiff) and Virginia M. (defendant) agreed to raise a child together and share all parental rights and responsibilities. Virginia became pregnant through artificial insemination and gave birth to ADM. Alison and Virginia cared for and supported ADM together during the first two years of his life. In 1983, Alison and Virginia ended their relationship and Alison moved out of the family home. Alison continued to visit ADM multiple times per week and continued to pay for half of the mortgage and other household expenses. In 1986, Virginia eventually bought out Alison’s interest in the family home and Alison later moved to Ireland for work. By this time, ADM was over six years old and referred to both Alison and Virginia as mommy. However, following Alison’s move, Virginia began restricting Alison’s communication with ADM and eventually terminated all contact. In response, Alison petitioned for visitation rights under New York’s Domestic Relations Law § 70, under which a parent may petition for a court determination relating to her guardianship, charge, and custody of her child. The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division found that Alison did not have standing to seek visitation rights under Section 70 because she was not a parent for the purposes of the statute. Alison appealed on the ground that she was a de facto parent or, alternatively, was a parent by estoppel.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

Dissent (Kaye, J.)

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