In re MF (Kansas 2020)

2020 Kan. LEXIS 255 (2020), rev’d 442 P.3d 135 (Kan. App. 2019)
November 2020

A same-sex partner, who didn’t give birth to a child, can be recognized as a parent using K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 23-2208(a)(4) when the child’s birth parent consented to shared parenting at the time of the child’s birth. This case came before the Supreme Court on appeal from lower court decisions denying a same-sex partner parentage rights because there was no enforceable oral parenting contract between the partners. The Supreme Court reversed the lower courts. On appeal to the Supreme Court, the Appellant argued that the lower courts required more of her than the parentage presumption statute requires. The statute required her to notoriously recognize her maternity, not to prove that she was a good parent or that there was some kind of parenting agreement. The Supreme Court agreed finding that the initial determination is if the person notoriously recognized the child. Then, the burden shifts to the other parent to rebut the presumption by clear and convincing evidence of a lack of a legal relationship, paternity or maternity has already been established, or that a competing presumption exists.