Dad Denied Custody of His Own Child Because He's Gay

Rant 29

born this wayImagine being a kid. One of your parents is the primary caregiver for seven years, and then, all of a sudden, you're split. Your dad moves out of state, and you have to go with him. Heartbroken doesn't begin to describe how you'd feel, right? You might want to carry that feeling to the polls next time you're facing an amendment on same sex marriage.

Louisiana dad Dale Liuzza is gaining national attention right now because this is exactly what happened to him. His son, Seth, now lives in Washington State with Dale's ex, Chris, and he gets to see him a maximum of every two months. And Dale can't do a thing about it. There is no "rearranging custody" or "asserting legal parental rights."

Really think this is good for the child?

The gay dads conceived Seth with the help of a surrogate, using a donor egg and a combination of their sperm. At the time there was no reason to figure out which one was the biological father because they were a committed couple. Fast forward to the break-up of their relationship, and Chris went through genetic testing to determine he was the biological father. Because of Louisiana law that prohibits same sex marriage, that was all the proof he needed to take a child away from the parent who loved and cared for him for the formative years of his life.

More from The Stir: Young Daughter of Gay Dads Fights for Her Family in Powerful Speech (VIDEO)

Got that? Being a good parent didn't matter. Wiping his hiney and singing lullabies, all that stuff that makes kids feel loved and cared for, went right out the window. 

The story is being used as evidence in the fight for equality, as well it should. I'm outraged on Dale's behalf.

And yet, I can't help thinking the real focus should be re-directed. We don't need equality simply for adults. We need it for kids.

My heart is truly broken for Seth. He's a kid. A little boy. His whole life was ripped asunder, and because his dads just so happen to be gay, this won't play out like "regular" divorce. A straight primary caregiving parent would be able to stick up for their kid and, nine times out of 10, stay in their life and continue giving them the love and support that kids NEED.

Because in the end, that's what matters. The kid.

Relationships can crumble, but if you have a child together, you have to set aside your petty differences and do what is best for that child. And because so many parents have trouble with that, we have a court system and custody to help make that happen ... at least in "straight" families.

It wouldn't be in the best interest of a child born of a straight relationship to suddenly be torn from one parent, so why is it suddenly "OK" simply because the parents are both gay?

Is there ever a reason to take a child away from the parent who has been their primary caregiver for years? Is gay on your list?


Image via Guillaume Paumier/Flickr

exes, family


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the4m... the4mutts

Gays should be allowed to marry so that their children don't have to suffer even more than normal in a breakup/divorce.

There's a new law going onto ballots, to remove the restriction of "2 opposite gender people only" being legal parents. This would mean, for instance, that BOTH these men would be listed as "father" on the birth certificate. They could potentially even list the surrogate as "mother", giving the THREE of them, full parental rights.

Times are changing folks, laws need to keep up!

stork... storkneedsgps

This is very sad and something should be done to prevent this. However, I know of straight men who have this problem. They meet a girl whose pregnant and they help raise the child but when a breakup happens, its all over and they have no rights

Flori... Floridamom96

Your headline is a complete lie. He did not lose custody because he's gay. Why is it too much to ask that you be honest?

What's best for all children is to be born to (or adopted by) a mother and father in a loving marriage. This child was put into the line of fire by people who value their own selfish desires over the needs of children. He should never have been brought into a relationship that lacked even the possibility of meeting the ideal. It is not the fault of the legal system that this has been done to this boy. It is the fault of his selfish "parents".

Nicholas Reed

@floridamom96.  So what you're saying is that the child would have been better off if he had never been born, right? Are these sorts of calloused, judgmental, ignorant comments supposed to convince us of the superiority of your morals?

Kaela Wheeler

Straight parents who aren't biologically related face the same issue as Dale. It has nothing to do with his sexual orientation (seriously, the other dad is also gay and has full custody). It is certainly another case on top of a tall stack of similar cases that shines a light on the complications of alternative methods of combining DNA to make a baby. It's hard for a court to decide when a person becomes a parent with full rights to that child. Is it after 5 years of parenting? 10? They were there at the birth? They gave the child up for adoption but wanted him back within 6 months? etc. etc. etc. Biological relation is the only clear cut  line and that unfortunately causes a lot of heartache for parents like Dale who deserve to continue parenting their children.

Tim Baxter

@Floridamom96- I'm sorry. I have been reading articles on this site now for the better part of a year and this is the first time I've been so shocked by an opinion that I have no choice but to comment. Simply said...I respect your right to be ill informed and very verbal about it. Yes this child was brought into the line of fire much like mixed race babies have been. It is not his fault. BUT it is not the "Father(s)" fault either. I personally know several gay dads who represent a family life that i was not provided by my mom and dad. Infact the majority of them live lives that children who were raised by a traditional family could only dream of. I kindly ask you to do some research into the long term effects of gay parents vs hetero parents. There are mixed reviews but if you take a look at the credibility of the source you will be surprised. I'm waiting for the day that laws are in place that protect EVERYONE equally. MY heart goes out to the father who has loved and cared for this child. Its not the first time I've seen it and I'm afraid it wont be the last.

tbruc... tbrucemom

He didn't lose custody because he was gay.  He doesn't have custody because his relationship broke up and his ex-partner moved away.  It happens to straight couples too.  It sucks for the kids. Honestly, even if they were able to get married and then broke up and got divorced the biological dad probably would have primary custody anyway, that's just how the law works.  It would kind of be like a stepdad situation. Say the stepdad raises a child as his own for several years and then gets divorced. The biological mom gets custody, no questions asked, even though the stepdad and the child could be as close as any biological dad would be.

Nicholas Reed

@Keela, you are just plain wrong.  Straight couples have the option of marrying, and when they do, they gain the right to adopt their partner's biological children (with the partner's consent of course), and each spouse is presumed to be the legal parent of the other's children, so long as no one else lays a claim to legal and biological parenthood, even if it is physically impossible for them to be the parent (seriously, even guys who have had their junk shot off are presumed to be the father of their wives' children).  Louisiana has intentionally written the law to preclude gay couples from protecting their children in that way, by making legal ties to children depend on marriage, and by forbidding gay couples to marry.  It says this is all for the children's sake, but it does allow gay couples to raise children, so long as the child has only one legally recognized parent.  This is hypocritical, and objectively against the best interests of children being raised by gay couples.

Tripl... TripleC14

@Floridamom96 is illustrating two things very well with her commentary: 1) adults can be dicks; 2) because adults can be dicks we need the legal system to keep them in check.

@stork, that's not really the same situation since these men decided together to have a child, one guy didn't enter the family after the fact.This situation is more similar to when a heterosexual couple uses a donor egg and the husband's sperm. The husband's wife however has the ability to become the legal mother of the resulting child, avoiding sad events like this.

JennyM87 JennyM87



Your opinion lacks the realism of today, there are gay people, there are gay dads, and there are gay moms.
A friend of mine is gay and he strives to be a gay dad one day, people that have opinions such as this delay the acceptance and in the end you'll see that this is wrong, even if they want to parent outside of the accepted standards; there is nothing that gays are not challenged for and you should see that as an individual you should do what makes you happy, in this case it was the gay parents that surfaced in this article and the direction that child was forced into.

So I feel that this is not the best solution even by the legal system, especially for the child, how can you take away the child and give it to another parent who did less to raise them, the child knows the father he was raised by whether biological or not he is father if he is willing to care for him and love him the way a parent should. rethink your statement and move forward with future gay-related issues.

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