Society

Judge Issues Historic Ruling In Threesome Custody Case (Photos)

| by Sarah Zimmerman

A Long Island judge has issued a historic "tri-custody" ruling of a 10-year-old boy that was conceived out of a threesome.

Married couple Dawn and Michael Marano struck a friendship with their downstairs neighbor, Audria Garcia, in 2001, according to the New York Post. After Garcia broke up with her long term boyfriend, she moved upstairs with the Maranos and court documents say that she "began to engage in intimate relations" with the couple.

Garcia eventually became pregnant with 50-year-old Michael Marano's child. The Maranos have been unable to conceive as Dawn, 47, was infertile.

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"It was agreed, before a child was conceived, that [the Maranos and Garcia] would all raise the child together as parents," the judge wrote in his ruling.

Dawn's insurance reportedly covered the costs of Garcia's pregnancy and the two would attend prenatal appointments together. Once the child was born in 2007, the three would work together to raise the child, taking turns to feed the baby throughout the night or taking him to doctor's appointments.

Eighteen months later, in 2008, Dawn filed for divorce from Michael and moved in with Garcia and the child in a home in nearby Central Islip. Michael and Garcia agreed to joint custody, but Dawn wanted to be considered a legal parent to her son.

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She filed a motion to "secure custody rights for [the boy] because she fears that without court-ordered visitation and shared custody, her ability to remain in [the boy’s] life would be solely dependent upon obtaining the consent of either Audria or [Michael]," the judge wrote.

Michael opposed Dawn's move for custody and the case went to trial. According to Jezebel, the judge cited a ruling from summer 2016 that allows non-biological or adoptive parents to gain custody of a child given there was a prior relationship. Jude Leis ruled that a tri-custody ruling would be the "logical evolution" of the preceding case.

"[The] best interests cry out for an assurance that [the child] will be allowed a continued relationship with [the] plaintiff," Leis writes. "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."

According to the Post, the boy refers to both women as his "mother," and also that Dawn and Garcia raise him "in a loving environment."

Dawn has been granted custody of the boy every Wednesday night, as well as one week of vacation during the school year and two weeks during the summer.

Garcia will still have residential custody and Michael will take the boy on weekends. 

"[Dawn and Garcia are] thrilled with the ruling, absolutely thrilled," says the couple's attorney.

Michael told the Post that he plans to appeal.

Sources: New York Post, Jezebel / Photo credit: Brian Turner/Flickr, Facebook via Daily Mail

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