Tri-Custody Granted in Historic, Polyamorous Ruling

A historic ruling in Suffolk County grants tri-custody of a 10-year-old boy who has two mothers and one father. The threesome lived in Long Island and were engaged in a polyamorous ruling. The three include Michael Marano and his wife Dawn Marano along with their neighbor, Audria Garcia.

Dawn, infertile, married Michael in 1994 in a conventional marriage that lasted until 2001 when Garcia moved in with the couple.

The trio agreed to raise the child. Garcia mothered the child in 2007. The complicated agreement led to both women nursing the child and attending all doctor appointments together. Dawn’s insurance covered Audria’s during her pregnancy.

Both women chose to end the relationship with Michael. The women moved into a new home in 2008 and started their own relationship.

Michael Marano sued Audria for custody of his son. His wife Dawn filed for divorce.

Michael and Audria’s case proceeded with the courts granting each parent joint custody of their child. Michael’s ex-wife bid for custody, too, in a separate suit. Dawn filed with the court to gain custody of the child. She is not the biological or legal mother of the child.

The proceedings included the child testifying in court. The child identified both women as his “mommies.” Dawn Marano was granted a milestone ruling, which includes two weeks custody in the summer, one week custody during school vacation and rights to the child on Wednesday nights.

Suffolk County Supreme Court Judge H. Patrick Leis III stated, “No one told the father to conceive a child with his wife’s best friend.”

Michael Marano was granted weekends with the boy. He has stated that he will appeal the ruling.

Audria Garcia became the couple’s downstairs neighbor in 2001. Garcia remained in a relationship with her boyfriend at the time and moved in with the Marano family after she broke up with her boyfriend.

The trio started to engage in an intimate relationship.

The decision to have a child was agreed upon by all three parties. The child, born January 25, 2007, was fathered by Michael Marano and Audria Garcia because Dawn Marano was infertile. Dawn, despite agreeing on the trio having a child, didn’t, by the outline of the law, have a legal right to custody of the child.

Dawn stated in court that she didn’t want to obtain consent from the biological parents to see the child that she helped raise.

Leis remained critical of Michael during the case, stating that “no one told these three people to create this unique relationship.”

Both women were happy with the ruling. The women still live with each other.

Leis’ decision cited a high court ruling last summer that allows adoptive or non-biological parents to seek custody of a child they have a relationship with. The landmark child custody ruling sets precedence for similar cases in New York. The judge did commend the trio on raising the child in a loving environment. Garcia maintains residential custody of the boy.

Advocates in family law state that the judge did what was in the best interest of the child.