VOLS Board Member Jeffrey Trachtman Helps Win Landmark Expanding Rights of Non-Biological Parents

August 31, 2016

Working with a team of lawyers from Kramer Levin and Lambda Legal,  VOLS Board member Jeffrey S. Trachtman helped win a landmark ruling from the Court of Appeals in Matter of Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth C.C. and the companion case Estrellita A. overturning Alison D., a 25 year-old decision that had denied non-biological, non-adoptive parents standing in custody cases.  

The court held that, "the definition of 'parent' . . . in Alison D. has become unworkable when applied to increasingly varied family relationships. . . [W]here a partner shows by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child toghether, the nonbiological, nonadoptive partner has standing to seek visitation and custody."

Kramer Levin Litigation Associate Andrew J. Estes served as lead appellate counsel, assisted by Mr. Trachtman and associates Jason Moff and Catherine Hoge.

VOLS congratulates the team at Kramer Levin and Lambda Legal for this tremendous victory.

See New York's Highest Court Expands Definition of Parenthood, New York Times, August 31, 2016.