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Lawmaker's fight highlights same-sex custody muddle in N.C.

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RALEIGH (AP) -- State Senator Julia Boseman is in the middle of a custody fight that helps highlight the lack of clarity in North Carolina law over what makes a person a parent.

Boseman has filed a lawsuit seeking joint custody with her former partner of their four-year-old son. The New Hanover County Democrat is the Legislature's only openly homosexual member, but legal experts say the law is vague with regard to all unmarried couples.

Some conservatives worry that courts might be too willing to grant custody rights to non-biological parents in same-sex relationships.

Boseman is seeking secondary custody of the boy conceived through artificial insemination and born in October 2002 to her partner, Melissa Jarrell, who would retain primary custody. The couple split up last year, and the lawsuit says the boy has spent time with both women.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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