Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sperm donor can have parental rights

I have posted before about how all the states used to have many reasonable distinctions between married and unmarried couples, but such distinctions are being attacked and removed. Here is the latest example.

The Wash. Post reports:
A Virginia law concerning sperm donation was not intended to deny parental rights to a man who conceived a daughter with his girlfriend through in-vitro fertilization, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court ruled that the law, which says unmarried sperm donors have no parental rights, had been intended to ensure married couples could seek a sperm donor without fearing the donor would claim parental rights.

The decision was a victory for Virginia Beach attorney William D. Breit, who is seeking enforcement of a custody and visitation agreement he and his former girlfriend signed shortly after the birth of a daughter who was conceived through in-vitro fertilization. The couple signed the agreement as well as an affidavit establishing Breit as the biological father. ...

In court, Mason [the mom] cited a law that says a “donor is not the parent of a child conceived through assisted conception, unless the donor is the husband of the gestational father.” [sic - I think she meant the gestational mother]

However, another provision says a parent-child relationship may be established by “a voluntarily written statement of the father and mother made under oath acknowledging paternity.” The justices said that when the statutes are read together, it’s clear that Breit can assert his parental rights.

The court also said Breit has a fundamental constitutional right to be involved in his child’s upbringing.

“Simply put, there is no compelling reason why a responsible, involved, unmarried, biological parent should never be allowed to establish legal parentage of her or his child born as a result of assisted conception,” Justice William C. Mims wrote.
Britain has gone to an extreme and abolished anonymous sperm donors. British women someones come to the USA just to buy sperm.

It used to be that if a couple wanted to have a child, they got married. In this case, they signed test-tube baby and paternity contracts, but did not bother with a marriage certificate. And thanks to decisions like this, the marriage certificate is increasingly irrelevant.

Of course marriage does not just mean paternity. It also indicates a commitment to stick around long enough to rear the kid. In this case, they split after 4 months.

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