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The Supreme Judicial Court ruled earlier this month in A.H. v. M.P. that a woman who never adopted the child of her same-sex partner, “although she was well aware of the importance of doing so,” and was not the primary caretaker for the child, did not have a legal right to visitation or a support agreement as a “de facto parent.”

Further, the court declined to adopt a “parent by estoppel,” theory as defined in the ALI Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution § 2.03 (2002). saying, in part, “the parent by estoppel principle is a most dramatic intrusion into the rights of fit parents to care for their child as they see fit” and “parent by estoppel status is most appropriate where “adoption is not legally available or possible.””

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