The Florida Supreme Court issued a groundbreaking opinion protecting every Florida Citizen’s Right to create and parent their own children free from discrimination based on marriage or sexual orientation. Today, individuals and couples choose to create their families in their own unique and personal way. Many couples turn to assisted reproductive technology and egg/sperm donation. Florida law now unequivocally recognizes and protects these new emerging “non-traditional” families. As prospective parents contemplate their new families, they can look to the law with the help of an experienced attorney to establish and protect their parental rights. Most significantly, the law will protect a child’s interests to maintain these family relationships in their best interests.
Read the full opinion: http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2013/sc12-261.pdf
T.M.H. is the biological mother of a child that she and her former partner, D.M.T. agreed to conceive and co-parent. T.M.H. gave D.M.T her egg so she could conceive the child. After the child’s birth, both T.M.H. and D.M.T. co-parented the child in the same home until they dissolved their relationship. After a period of time, D.M.T took the child and relocated to Australia without the notice or consent of T.M.H. After T.M.H. located the child, D.M.T. refused to allow T.M.H. any access to the child claiming she surrendered all parental rights by giving her the egg that created the child. The Florida Supreme Court declined to recognize this harsh application of Florida law.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled that Florida’s reproductive technology law must recognize every person’s right to procreate using modern technology regardless of that person’s sexual orientation. The law declared unconstitutional the definition of commissioning couples as limited to a mother and father, expanding the law to include same-sex couples who intend to conceive and co-parent a child.
This is a lengthy and important opinion. Prospective parents should use caution when creating families through reproductive technology. It is always prudent to consult with an experienced attorney to protect your rights to a child before your child is conceived.