Maryland's Highest Court Recognizes 'de Facto' Parents - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland's Highest Court Recognizes 'de Facto' Parents

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- Maryland's highest court has ruled an adult who is intimately connected to a child's upbringing is entitled to visitation and a share of custody, if the child's best interests are served.
    
The Court of Appeals decision overturns an eight-year-old ruling. In that decision, judges declined to grant de facto parental rights to unrelated individuals, unless they could prove exceptional circumstances.
    
The court's ruling Thursday reversed lower-court decisions that Michael Conover lacked parental standing and had no visitation or custody rights for 5-year-old Jaxon Conover.
    
Conover is a transgender man. He identified as a woman when he married the boy's biological mother, Brittany Conover.
    
The boy was born six months before they married and 17 months before they divorced.

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