Child custody cases can be complicated even when they stem from traditional divorces. The growing advancement of alternative fertilization techniques and acceptance of same-sex couples are creating new family law questions that may require an answer from the courts.
The Florida Supreme Court is currently considering the case of a lesbian couple that conceived a child together while they were in a relationship. One woman was the donor of the egg, which was implanted in the other woman. The couple separated in 2006, two years after their child was born.
The standard consent forms used during egg donation procedures are poised to be a factor in this case. Apparently, the woman who donated her eggs may have signed a form waiving parental rights to children born from the procedure. However, her attorney is arguing that these forms are standard and were contrary to the intention of the couple. The Supreme Court is reportedly considering sending this issue back to a lower court for a decision. Earlier, the 5th District Court of Appeals ruled that the donor woman should have parental rights to the child.
This case is illustrative of the importance of being fully informed of the legal implications of child conception and child-rearing decisions, especially in a changing scientific and social landscape. Anyone facing family law issues should be aware of all their legal rights and any complexities that may arise from their personal situation. Seeking legal advice from an experienced professional may be beneficial.
Source: The Miami Herald, “Florida Justices Hear Lesbian Custody Dispute,” Bill Kaczor, Oct. 2, 2012