Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Psychological Parent Definition:

One who essentially serves as a second parent to a child and is a relationship to which the child's parent has consented.

In re Senturi, of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia adopted these words:

"A psychological parent is a person who, on a continuing day-to-day basis, through interaction, companionship, interplay, and mutuality, fulfills a child's psychological and physical needs for a parent and provides for the child's emotional and financial support.

"The psychological parent may be a biological, adoptive, or foster parent, or any other person. The resulting relationship between the psychological parent and the child must be of substantial, not temporary, duration and must have begun with the consent and encouragement of the child's legal parent or guardian.

"In the cases in which this Court has determined a person to be a psychological parent to a child, that person typically has resided in the child's household and interacted with the child on a daily basis. Moreover, a psychological parent is one who essentially serves as a second parent to a child and is a relationship to which the child's parent has consented....

"[S]imply caring for a child is not enough to bestow upon a care giver psychological parent status."

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