As an increasing number of same-sex couples in Minnesota and other states adopt or bear children, child custody issues are becoming surprisingly complicated. In some cases, same-sex women bear their own biological children and then have to hash out child support and custody provisions when they break up. Same-sex male couples do not have it any easier, as evidenced by celebrity David Tutera’s breakup with his longtime partner. The pair has announced their separation and the acceptance of an initial custody agreement, which would separate their twin children by thousands of miles.
The couple implanted a woman with two embryos; one had been fertilized by Tutera, the other by his partner. The WE TV star’s embryo developed into a girl, while the other developed into a boy. Tutera will thus retain custody of his biological daughter, while his partner will keep custody of his son.
Both members of the couple acknowledge that they would like to maintain the relationship their children have with each other, but they all need some time apart to allow matters to reach a more stable state. The couple’s 10-year long relationship had already begun to disintegrate before the children were born. Tutera admits, in fact, that they decided to have children in a bid to fix their ailing union. The couple is still striving to reach a permanent resolution in the child custody case. Tutera’s ex does not seem to be making the process any easier; instead, he has come out to the media with suggestions that Tutera was a sex-addict. Tutera strongly denies those claims. He said he intends to persevere with a fair resolution in the case despite the incendiary language in the media.
This case is indicative of the serious legal challenges that face same-sex couples in custody battles. Although both men want to be loving fathers, they may be facing a lengthy legal battle to secure visitation rights for both children.
www.usmagazine.com, “David Tutera separates kids in custody battle with Ryan Jurica: “We are not at a resolution”” Allison Takeda, Sep. 13, 2013