Bode Miller, 36, Olympic skier, met Sara McKenna, 27, former marine, through an online dating service in April, 2012. They dated briefly and she became pregnant with his child. They were both living in California at the time.
Miller married someone else, and McKenna, seven months pregnant, decided to move to New York to go to college at Columbia University on the G.I. Bill.
In November 2012, Bode filed a “Petition to Establish Parental Relationship” in California, checking the box on the form to say he was the father of “a child who is not yet born”.
The baby was born in February 2013. Two days later, McKenna filed her petition for custody in the New York Family Court.
There is a uniform law that governs child custody cases between the states which provides that the child’s “home state” has jurisdiction. Since the baby was born in New York, that state should decide custody.
But the family judge in New York sent the case back to California saying she appropriated the child while in utero, which was “irresponsible” and “reprehensible”. He gave custody to Miller and his new wife.
Then that order was overturned by a New York appeals court and the baby was returned to McKenna. The cases continues as the two sides try to work out a parenting plan.
Needless to say, it is spurring controversy among fathers’ rights and mothers’ rights activists regarding the right to relocate if you are pregnant.