If you and your partner decide to have a child with a third donor, you may believe that your child will still be considered yours in divorce. The problem is that certain laws restrict the parental rights of donors. If you donate an egg, for instance, to your spouse and have it implanted using another donor’s sperm, it could be argued that the only true parent of the child with legal rights is the person who gives birth.
That’s exactly the issue that the courts are working out for a same-sex couple in Florida. A custody case involving two women is being argued in the Florida Supreme Court due to an unusual situation where the facts of the case were potentially misunderstood. According to the news on Oct. 2, the case went to court to determine the custody of a child born to two women. One woman donated her egg to the other partner, who then gave birth to the child.
Two years after the birth of the child, the couple separated. The woman who gave birth obtained custody when the trial law cited a law that states that donors give up their parental rights. The appeals court disagreed, because the genetic mother was not a donor as defined by law, but instead the child’s actual parent.
In cases like this, the intention wasn’t for one parent to be a donor but instead to include both parents in a birthing process when it would otherwise have been impossible. The woman was not intended to be a donor but an actual parent, as was proved by being in a relationship and raising a child with the woman who gave birth. If your case is complicated like this one, your attorney can help work out the specifics to help you regain custody of your child.
Source: Wisconsin Gazette, “Lesbian custody case argued before Florida Supreme Court,” accessed Oct. 11, 2017