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In re Parentage of J.B.R.

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3

October 23, 2014

In the Matter of the Parentage of J.B.R. Nathanial A. York, Respondent
v.
Lacey Shows-Re, Petitioner

Oral Argument, June 12, 2014

Appeal from Asotin Superior Court. Docket No: 12-3-00072-6. Judge signing: Honorable William D Acey. Judgment or order under review. Date filed: 05/06/2013.

Richard A. Laws (of Broyles & Laws PLLC ), for petitioner.

Tina L. Kernan (of Law Offices of Clark & Feeney ), for respondent.

Authored by Robert E. Lawrence-Berrey. Concurring: George B. Fearing, Stephen M. Brown.

OPINION

Page 649

Robert E. Lawrence-Berrey, J.

[184 Wn.App. 205] [¶1] In 2005, the Washington State Supreme Court adopted the doctrine of de facto parentage. In essence, a nonparent petitioner may be recognized as a legal parent if the petitioner establishes four factors. This case presents the issue of whether de facto parentage may be extended to a stepparent of a child with two legal parents. We hold that the doctrine may be so extended if the stepparent petitioner establishes the relevant

Page 650

four factors, which include establishing that both legal parents consented to the stepparent being a parent to the child. We affirm the trial court's denial of Ms. Shows-Re's motion to dismiss.

FACTS

[¶2] J.B.R. was born to Lacey Shows-Re and James Candler on October 4, 2000. The parents were teenagers at the time of J.B.R.'s birth and broke off their relationship while J.B.R. was an infant. For a combination of reasons, Mr. Candler stopped trying to visit J.B.R. when she was about two years old. He had no contact with J.B.R. over the next 10 years.

[¶3] Nathanial York was just out of high school when he began dating Ms. Shows-Re in 2002. J.B.R. was about two [184 Wn.App. 206] years old. Mr. York treated J.B.R. as his child; J.B.R. referred to him as her father. Ms. Shows-Re encouraged the relationship. Ms. Shows-Re and Mr. York had a daughter, N.A.Y., while together.

[¶4] Mr. York and Ms. Shows-Re ended their four-year relationship in May 2006. N.A.Y. was an infant and J.B.R. was about six years old. Mr. York's visitation of N.A.Y. and J.B.R. was sporadic for about two years. Mr. York claims that he sought ...


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