In re Thompson

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Determined the right of a non-biological lesbian mother in Tennessee to visitation with children she raised with her former partner.

Full Case Title: 

In re Thompson, 11 S.W.3d 913 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1999), application for permission to appeal denied, (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 24, 2000)
  • Fairness in the Courts


  • LGBTQ+ Rights
  • Parental Rights
  • Joined Amicus Brief


This case involved the availability of visitation rights for non-biological lesbian mothers.

Our Role in the Case

Legal Momentum joined an amicus brief in support of lesbian mothers who sought visitation with the children they had raised with their former partners. The brief focused on the importance of recognizing the rights of de facto parents and the realities of family life, rather than relying on biological or legal ties in determining a parent's right to visit her child.


The Court of Appeals rejected the non-biological mothers' claims, relying on a strict interpretation of statutory language that granted parental rights only to "legal parents," which it found did not include non-biological lesbian mothers. The plaintiffs' application to appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court was denied in January 2000.