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  MOTHER MAY I?

FL Lesbian Exes’ Custody Battle Making Headlines—And Possibly Changing Laws

Which comes first—the womb or the egg? That’s the question at the heart of an ongoing custody battle between two lesbians that could change the legal definition of motherhood and the rights of sperm and egg donors.
Eight years ago, the two unnamed women—both law enforcement officers in Florida—decided to have a child together. One partner donated an egg, which was fertilized by a donor’s sperm and then implanted in the other partner. But the couple split up in 2006 and the birth mother eventually fled to Australia without a word to bio-mom.
The two are currently in Florida State Supreme Court fighting over custody of their now 8-year-old daughter.
Obviously, the case has implications for anyone using a surrogate or egg donor. At first, a judge found in favor of the birth mother—saying the biological had no rights under Florida law—but indicated he hoped his ruling would be overturned.  It later was, and is now being heard by the state Supremes.
Jeez, if this were an episode of Harry’s Law we’d say it was far-fetched.

 

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Mar 11, 2012
Tagged: , ,

  • 6 Comments
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      How would this be treated if they were an opposite-sex couple who conceived in the traditional way, and is there any logical reason this case cannot be treated the same?

      Mar 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ptboat
      ptboat

      Let’s see, opposite sex couple equals sperm, egg, gestation. All that the dad contributes is sperm and he is a legal parent. One would assume it would be the same thing, but this is two lesbians, after all. I don’t know why this would have any more implications with regard to surrogacy than the current sperm/egg laws do. Recognizing the two mothers is pretty easy when one considers them a couple and considers their mutual intention to have a baby together.

      Mar 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleW
      KyleW

      The last thing anyone needs to do is model this case on the outrageously female-centric laws applied to heterosexuals.

      In this case, as in all others, I think the determination should be made purely on the basis of what’s best for the child. The child won’t be raised better simply because she lives with the gestator, or the egg provider.

      Mar 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mrs. Robinson
      Mrs. Robinson

      Let’s do remember we are talking about Florida – the whackiest of the whacky. FL only stopped barring gay people from adopting about 18 months ago & only because of a decision by an appeals court, not because the Legislature finally grew a brain. Who knows how the State Supreme Court will rule on this one.

      Mar 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jean
      jean

      What makes this case important is that the courts either have to recognize the gay relationship (which will make Anita Bryant’s head explode,) or else set a precedent that would overturn parental rights of straight couples where a surrogate could change her mind and take away a couple’s biological child years later. Perfect example of unintended consequence of laws denying equality!

      Mar 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      Mom A and Mom B purposefully each invested a biological component, making both of them the girl’s biological parents; thus, each parent has an equal interest in the child. That’s not even a little bit confusing.

      I understand parental kidnapping when there’s abuse at home. I really do. But parental kidnapping just to fuck with your ex? That out to be treated like any other kidnapping.

      Since Mom A absconded with the child she should be required to show that she was doing it to protect the child from Mom B’s physical or psychological abuse. Otherwise, she’s simply acted in bad faith to the detriment of both the child and Mom B — forfeiting any right to equity. Assuming Mom B is a rational and competent adult able to adequately care for the child, Mom B should get custody, and Mom A should have regular, albeit supervised, visitation.

      From jail.

      @KyleW: KyleW “The last thing anyone needs to do is model this case on the outrageously female-centric laws applied to heterosexuals. In this case, as in all others, I think the determination should be made purely on the basis of what’s best for the child.”

      Best interest of the child is the standard in every state. How the fuck is that “outrageously female-centric.”?

      Or are you just trying to join the Queerty He-Man Women-Hater’s Club?

      Mar 13, 2012 at 1:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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