21/01/2010 07:24 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Lesbian Custody Battle Turns Nasty

A nasty custody battle is raging in the USA and it's making headlines - because the parents are lesbians.

Lisa Miller, from Virginia, has been ordered by a judge to relinquish custody of her seven-year-old daughter, Isabella, to her former partner, Janet Jenkins.

However Miller is refusing to hand over the child, according to reports, and appears to have gone into hiding.

The parents entered into a civil union back in 2000, after which Miller became pregnant through artificial insemination.

But after the birth of Isabella, the pair broke up, and Miller took the little girl to Virginia, renounced lesbianism and became an evangelical Christian.

You can see why this is getting messy.

Miller's case has been seized upon by anti-gay marriage groups and individuals.

A Facebook group has been set up called "Only One Mommy: The Story of Lisa and Isabella Miller," where one user wrote: "Our sister in the Lord needs the parts of the body of Christ to stand up and defend her and that is exactly what we are going to do. This is much bigger than Isabella and her Mother."

Blimey. You can see what Jenkins is up against.

However, a legal expert, Professor Arthur S. Leonard, told ParentDishUS that the judge appeared to be justified in giving custody to Jenkins.

He said this seemed to be based on "the failure of Ms Miller to comply with the visitation orders that were lawfully issued by the Vermont court."

Prof Leonard said: "That is a well-established ground for changing custody if both parents are deemed 'fit' by the court."

There have been other cases in the past where custody was awarded to the non-biological parent.

Virginia television station WHSV has reported that Miller could go to jail when she is found.

Anyone who knows where Miller and Isabella are hiding is asked to contact the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Whatever your views on gay marriage you've got to feel sorry for the little girl at the centre of this.

Source: ParentDishUS