Monday, April 21, 2008

Custody & Visitation Issues

Breastfeeding Legislation in the United States:
A General Overview and Implications for Helping Mothers
Melissa R. Vance, Esq.
Moorestown NJ USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 41 No. 3, June-July 2005, pp. 51-54.

..."Custody & Visitation Issues

There are only three states that address breastfeeding and custody/visitation in their statutes: Maine, Michigan, and Utah. Maine considers the breastfeeding of a child under the age of one year in its determination of what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. Breastfeeding, however, is just one of many factors to be considered. A court in Michigan, when determining parenting time, must take into consideration whether a child younger than six months is breastfed, or if one younger than a year "receives substantial nutrition" by breastfeeding. Utah provides for a minimum visitation schedule for children under the age of five, but "the lack of reasonable alternatives to the needs of a nursing child" may be taken into consideration.

The lack of a statute does not mean that a judge cannot consider breastfeeding issues in determining visitation or custody. Courts will consider the child's best interests in dealing with family law issues. Additionally, there may be prior court decisions in individual states that recognize the issue of breastfeeding in family law situations. Referring a mother to articles on the LLL Web site ( written by Liz Baldwin is a starting point. Area Professional Liaison Leaders may also have information regarding prior court decisions in their states that may be helpful to a mother. The latest American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on breastfeeding calls on health care professionals to support the efforts of parents and the courts to ensure continuation of breastfeeding in separation and custody proceedings. " ...

Read full article:

No comments: