“Judicial Event Horizon” – Dual Maternity in Florida

A lesbian couple has a baby (one supplies the eggs, one supplies the womb), raises it, and eventually separates. The birth mother runs to Australia. The biological mother seeks to assert parental rights.

Our analysis reveals that there is nothing in chapter 742, and specifically section 742.14, that addresses the situation where the child has both a biological mother and a birth mother who were engaged in a committed relationship for many years and who decided to have a child to love and raise together as equal parental partners. This is a unique case, and the appellate courts in Florida have never before considered a case quite like it. Based on the facts and circumstances of this case, we can discern no legally valid reason to deprive either woman of parental rights to this child.

We certify to the Florida Supreme Court the following question as a matter of great public importance: Does application of section 742.14 to deprive parental rights to a lesbian woman who provided her ova to her lesbian partner so both women could have a child to raise together as equal parental partners and who did parent the child for several years after its birth render the statute unconstitutional under the Equal Protection and Privacy clauses of the Federal and State Constitutions?

T.M.H., Appellant, v. D.M.T., Appellee., — So.3d —-, 2011 WL 6437247 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011) (December 23, 2011).

Almost the entire majority opinion is written to address the lengthy arguments by the dissent. I would read that to mean the Fifth DCA expects the Florida Supreme Court to take this one up.

 

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