Teen not adult, says judge

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Brian Batey, 16, will get to stay with the former lover of his deceased father, at least for now. Brian had asked the court to declare him an adult, ending attempts by his mother, Betty Lou Batey, to win legal custody following the death of his father, Frank Batey. Though Juvenile Court Judge Judith McConnell declined to acknowledge the boy's right to choose his own home, she did grant temporary custody of Brian to Craig Corbett, Frank Batey's lover for 13 years. Betty Lou Batey kidnapped Brian before Frank's death. A Fundamentalist Christian, Ms. Batey argued that her ex-husband's homosexual lifestyle made him an unfit parent. Frank Batey won that custody battle, and Brian stayed with Frank and Corbett.

The night after Frank Batey's June 26 death, five of Ms. Batey's relatives broke into the Batey-Corbett home and tried to kidnap Brian again. "I woke up at 2:30 in the morning and the whole interior hallway off my bedroom was full of pentacostal strangers, screaming and hollering, Corbett said. Local police removed the invaders after Brian stated he was not in danger and wanted to stay in the home. Ms. Batey returned with police June 28, but Brian again refused to leave.

Corbett became Brian Batey's temporary guardian at a July 8 hearing Juvenile Court, but since the court did not honor the youngster's request to be declared an adult, his mother could regain legal custody when the San Diego Superior Court hears the case.

source: Article 'Teen not Adult, Says Judge'; NAMBLA Bulletin, vol. 8, n. 8; October 1987