Same-sex custody battle ends in state supreme court

On behalf of Lake Toback Attorneys

Illinois residents may be interested in the outcome of a case involving a same-sex couple and their daughter. Two women from Florida had a child together; one woman carried her partner’s fertilized egg. After the couple split up, the woman who carried the child left the country and took the couple’s child with her. The other woman, who refers to herself as the biological mother, hired a private investigator, and once the woman and child were located, a custody battle began.

The birth mother, who did not allow her ex-partner to see their child for six years, argued that according to family law in the state, anonymous sperm and egg donors do not have parental rights to children who are born as a result of their donation. Her legal team pointed out that these donors are required to sign a form that relinquishes these rights.

The biological woman’s argument was that they clearly intended to raise the child together as a couple, so she was not an egg donor in the standard sense of the law. It was pointed out that joint funds were used to pay for the medical procedures involved and that the women underwent counseling to prepare themselves to become parents. Based on this evidence, the Florida Supreme Court sided with the biological mother.

Even though it has been established that the biological mother of the child has rights to see her daughter, a lower court will still need to determine when the woman can see her and if she has financial responsibilities as well. These are issues that are commonly dealt with during custody battles, and a family law attorney may help the woman develop an argument to increase her visitation time and take full advantage of her rights.

Source: ABC News, “Fla. Supreme Court Settles Lesbian Custody Battle“, Brendan Farrington, November 07, 2013

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Same-sex custody battle ends in state supreme court