A judge recently granted a historic custody ruling to a trio of parents who previously had a polyamorous relationship, calling it “tri-custody” of their 10-year-old son, which is the first of its kind in the state of New York.
Suffolk County Supreme Court Judge H. Patrick Leis III made the decision. According to the New York Post, former married couple Dawn and Michael Marano, who wed in 1994, started a polyamorous relationship with their neighbor Andrea Garcia six years later, in 2001. Things went so well that Garcia even ended up moving in with the couple and the trio decided to have a child together. Since Dawn was infertile, Garcia carried out the pregnancy and gave birth to their son, Michael Marano, who was born on January 25, 2007.
Things resumed until the two women, Dawn and Garcia decided to cut dad Michael our of the picture, romantically-speaking, and become a “twosome.” This resulted in Michael Marano suing Garcia in order to get sole custody. Dawn then sued him for divorce. Sounds kind of like a soap opera–it’s definitely one of those situations where life appears to be imitating art.
But all three people are the kids, parents, so the judge ultimately decided to give “tri-custody” to the trio, because he felt it was in the child’s best interests–and it is what the family consented to as adults, even if their arrangement seems unconventional. He wrote in his ruling:
“No one told these three people to create this unique relationship. Nor did anyone tell [the] defendant to conceive a child with his wife’s best friend or to raise that child knowing two women as his mother.”
Dawn Marano and Andrea Garcia are “absolutely thrilled,” although Michael feels otherwise and intends to appeal. Seems like he doesn’t want to deal with the consequence of his choices. Parenting post-splitup is always rough, but hopefully, he chooses to parent as a trio for his child’s sake, so as not to split up the family even further.
While the family’s choice may not be supported by others, it’s important to note that families come in all shapes and sizes–with step-parents, donors, surrogates, open-adoptions and more making each family unique and beautiful and creating situations where kids have many parental figures in their lives.