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Gay New York City judge challenges father's will; petitions that his husband is their son's 'mother'

BY TOM HAYS, ASSOCIATED PRESS

photo_courtroom_smNEW YORK -- A gay man and his longtime partner decide to become parents using a surrogate mother. Shortly after their son is born, the couple gets married. But there's a catch for this modern family: A will left by the man's wealthy father decrees that he must marry the mother for the child to collect an inheritance.

That quandary has prompted the man, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Robert M. Mandelbaum, to contest the will in surrogate's court.

Mandelbaum has filed a petition on behalf of his now 2-year-old son, Cooper, that argues that a condition that might "induce the beneficiary to enter into a sham marriage of convenience" should be invalid.

The petition makes two further arguments: that Mandelbaum's partner could be considered the boy's "mother," and that excluding the boy from sharing in the family fortune would run counter to public policies protecting same-sex marriages and their offspring.

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