(AP) New York's highest court has expanded the definition of parenthood by ruling that former same-sex couples have the right to seek visitation and custody of children even when they aren't the biological or adoptive parent.

The Court of Appeals decision Tuesday resolves two cases of former same-sex couples in which the biological mothers kept the children and their ex-partners sought legal standing to see them.

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In one case, lower courts ruled the ex-partner had no standing. In the other, the ex-partner pays child support and was later granted visitation.

The earlier definition of parenthood required a person seeking custody or visitation to have a biological or adoptive connection to the child.

The Court of Appeals ruled that that standard had become "unworkable" in light of society's "increasingly varied familial relationships."