This chapter focuses on lesbian mothers fighting for the custody of their children in the courts. It looks at early cases whereby courts were almost uniformly hostile to the idea that openly lesbian and gay parents should be awarded custody over straight parents, as well as to the notion that they should have unrestricted rights to visit with their children. It considers how courts have grappled with the question of the role the mothers' sexual orientation played in their ability to be good parents to their children, and the courage and determination of lesbian moms in battling to retain contact with their children. It also profiles more recent child custody cases pitting lesbian moms against their former husbands, with particular emphasis on the courts' increasing adoption of the nexus test in place of the per se standard in cases where the sexual orientation of a parent was at issue.
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