Jonathan Sporn, a 54 year-old pharmaceuticals executive, and his partner Leann Leutner, a lawyer, were living together in New York City when they decided to start a family. They sought the assistance of an anonymous sperm donor, and last July, Leutner gave birth to a healthy boy.

In December, Leutner took the baby and moved to New Jersey. Tragically, on New Year’s Day, Leutner, who had struggled with postpartum depression, committed suicide. The New York Times has reported that there had been previous attempts to take her own life and a long history of psychological difficulty made worse by the postpartum depression.

3.27.13.Kerry. Taub .DivBut because of the couple’s unmarried status, Child Protective Services didn’t recognize Sporn as the baby’s father and placed the baby in foster care. Sporn has filed a petition for custody of the baby, as has Leutner’s sister, who lives in Illinois. The court has deemed that both homes are appropriate for the baby, and yet he is still in a New York City foster home until the court decides who should have custody.

According to the law, Sporn isn&t a parent because he never married Leutner and he didn&t father the child. Not only is there no blood relationship, but Sporn failed to immediately take steps to adopt the baby following his birth. This case is similar to many custody cases that gay parents find themselves in when they have no biological relationship to a child they have been raising with their soon-to-be-ex-partner.

If you are involved in a custody battle, it’s important to retain an experienced Illinois family law attorney who will both represent and protect your rights and the rights of your children.