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Burch v. Smarr

Last Update: March 1, 2005

What's at Stake

The ACLU is urging the West Virginia Supreme Court not to separate a four-year-old boy from his surviving parent following the unexpected death of his biological mother.

Summary

After Christina Smarr’s death, her parents sought to take custody of the child away from Christina’s partner, Tina Burch. Christina and Tina were in a committed relationship and decided to have a child together. Christina gave birth to a son, and the couple raised him until Christina was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 2002.

Status: Victory! The Court recognized Tina as her son’s psychological parent and awarded permanent custody to her.

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