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Court says Dickinson County woman has no claim on child

IRON MOUNTAIN, MI (AP)--   An Upper Peninsula woman has no rights to a child born to her female former  partner. 

The Michigan appeals court last week agreed with a Dickinson County judge who dismissed a lawsuit by Jennifer Stankevich. She was seeking custody and other rights.

Stankevich and Leanne Milliron had a same-sex marriage in Canada in 2007 but separated two years later. While Stankevich apparently had a role in the child's early life, Milliron is the biological mother and has the upper hand in any legal action.

Michigan doesn't recognize same-sex marriage. And because Stankevich is not the biological parent, her case ends there.

A federal judge in Detroit is considering a challenge to Michigan's ban on gay marriage and other laws affecting same-sex couples. A trial is scheduled for February.

Nicole was born near Detroit but has lived in the U.P. most of her life. She graduated from Marquette Senior High School and attended Michigan State and Northern Michigan Universities, graduating from NMU in 1993 with a degree in English.