Same-sex Texas couples who want to have children may find the story of one same-sex couple’s child custody battle. A trial judge had originally ruled that the woman who had donated the egg had no parental rights.
According to the report, one woman donated an egg to her then-partner, who gave birth to a girl in 2004. Two years later, however, the couple split up and the birth mother left the country with their daughter. Using a private detective, the woman who donated the egg found her former partner in Australia. With her attorney, the birth mother had tried to refer to a Florida law that prohibits donors from claiming parental rights using a form that must be signed by a donor. The court rejected both arguments, however, as the couple had planned to have the child together. Evidence for this included the use of funds from a joint bank account and statements made to the reproductive doctor on their intentions to raise the child together.
The attorney for the woman who donated the egg stated that the ruling recognized the fundamental rights a parent has for their child, no matter how the child was conceived and the sexual orientation of the parents. However, her attorney also stated that the case may have turned out differently if the birth mother had fertilized one of her own eggs.
An attorney could help a couple protect their legal rights should same-sex couples choose to have children. For example, the attorney may be able to understand what their parental rights are when choosing to have a child through a surrogate, artificial insemination or through adoption.
Source: ABC News, “Fla. Supreme Court Settles Lesbian Custody Battle“, Brendan Farrington, November 07, 2013