MONROE, Mich. (AP) – A judge is urging two women in southeastern Michigan to reach a compromise in a dispute over rights to children after a broken relationship.

Jennifer Zunk isn’t legally recognized as a parent because she didn’t give birth to the two children. Her former partner, Dr. Carin Hopps, is seeking to end Zunk’s limited guardianship.

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Zunk and Hopps ended their 15-year relationship in 2015. They never married but had a civil union in Vermont.

Michigan law appears to be on Hopps’ side, although Zunk tells the Detroit Free Press  she wants joint custody and won’t “go down without a fight.”

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Hopps’ attorney told a Monroe County judge that it’s not up to the judiciary to extend parental rights to people with no biological connection.

Judge Cheryl Lohmeyer ordered both women into mediation.


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