NOM BLOG

AP: Same-Sex Custody Battle Could Redefine Legal Motherhood

 

The Associated Press:

A custody battle in Florida between two lesbians could fuel the growing national debate over the definition of motherhood.

... The women, now in their 30s and known in court papers only by their initials, were both law enforcement officers in Florida. One partner donated an egg that was fertilized and implanted in the other. That woman gave birth in 2004, nine years into their relationship.

But the Brevard County couple separated two years later, and the birth mother eventually left Florida with the child without telling her former lover. The woman who donated the egg and calls herself the biological mother finally tracked them down in Australia with the help of a private detective.

Their fight over the now 8-year-old girl is before the state Supreme Court, which has not announced whether it will consider the case. A trial judge ruled for the birth mother and said the biological mother has no parental rights under state law, adding he hoped his decision would be overturned.

... in a blistering dissent, Judge C. Alan Lawson said the trial judge got it right. A child can have only one mother, he wrote.

The court shouldn't recognize two mothers "unless we are also willing to invalidate laws prohibiting same-sex marriage, bigamy, polygamy or adult incestuous relationships on the same basis," Lawson said.