3 News 8 November 2013
The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that a woman who donated an egg to her lesbian partner has parental rights to the child and is ordering a lower court to work out custody, child support and visitation arrangements.
The case involves two women, identified only by their initials, who had a child together. One donated an egg that was fertilised and implanted in the other, who gave birth in 2004.
But two years later the Brevard County couple split up, and the birth mother took the girl and 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.
The court wrote that the birth mother’s “preference that she parent the child alone is sadly similar to the views of all too many parents who, after separating, prefer to exclude the other parent in the child’s life. The court added that “an all-or-nothing choice between the two parents is not necessary.”
The birth mother tried to use a Florida law that prevents sperm or egg donors from claiming parental rights to children born to other couples. Her lawyer also cited a standard form donors are required to sign relinquishing parental rights. The court rejected both arguments, saying the law doesn’t apply in this case because the couple clearly planned to parent the child together.