US court rules lesbian egg donor has parent rights

November 7, 2013 by Brendan Farrington

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that a woman who donated an egg to her lesbian partner has parental rights to the child, and on Thursday it ordered a lower court to determine custody and visitation rights.

The case involves two women, identified only by their initials, who began raising the child together. One donated an egg that was fertilized and implanted in the other, who gave birth in 2004.

But the couple split up two years later, and the birth mother eventually left the country. The other woman, who identifies herself as the biological mother, used a private detective to find her former partner in Australia, and a custody fight ensued.

At issue is the 1993 state law meant to regulate sperm and egg donation and to prevent donors from claiming parental rights to a child born to another couple. In this case, however, the Supreme Court said the donor provided her egg as part of an agreement to parent the child together and she acted as a parent after the child was born. Thus, the law doesn't apply.

"It would indeed be anomalous if, under Florida law, an unwed biological father would have more constitutionally protected rights to parent a child after a one-night stand than an unwed biological mother who, with a committed partner and as part of a loving relationship, planned for the birth of a child and remains committed to supporting and raising her own daughter," the wrote.

Christopher Carlyle, a lawyer representing the biological mother, said: "The case represents a recognition of the fundamental right a parent has to parent their child, regardless of that parent's sexual orientation or the manner by which the child is conceived. You had a unique situation where there was no intent of our client to donate this biological material and then be out of the picture. They obviously intended to raise the together."

The lawyer for the didn't immediately return a phone message left at his law office.

Explore further: Kids of single moms who later marry reap few benefits

Related Stories

Kids of single moms who later marry reap few benefits

October 11, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—With roughly four in 10 of all U.S. births now to unwed mothers, a new longitudinal study by Cornell demographers is the first to show that being raised in a single-parent home poses significant risks to ...

Children's Ombudsman calls for circumcision ban in Sweden

September 28, 2013
The Ombudsman for Children in Sweden called Saturday for the country to ban circumcision, a practice he said contravened the basic rights of boys.

Study finds that single mothers can reduce stress by playing, engaging with children

June 19, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- A group of three Kansas State University researchers is studying ways to help single mothers improve their relationship with their children.

Jealousy of eldest child can be predicted before birth of younger sibling

April 16, 2012
Parents who play with a doll and then ignore their child, elicit the same jealous behavior in the child as a newborn brother or sister can do later. The lack of attention from the mother elicits more jealousy from the child ...

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.