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State Supreme Court will debate law on parental rights

A complicated custody battle is soon heading to the state Supreme Court in another state. The same-sex custody matter will be heard by the highest court in the state so that the constitutionality of state laws can be addressed.

The outcome could interest couples from Ohio in similar situations. The Supreme Court's involvement is a new wrinkle in the case, which this blog has previously reported on.

Two women had a child together in 2004. They had been dating for eight years at the time but broke up after 11 years together. The couple initially planned to raise the daughter together, but their separation caused those plans to change.

In order to have the child, one of the women had her eggs artificially inseminated and implanted in her partner. Both were elated to have the child, but the family fell apart when the relationship ended in 2006.

The two shared custody of the young girl at first, and the partner who had donated her eggs was even paying child support. In December 2007, the birth mother decided that she no longer wanted her former partner to be a part of the child's life. Several months later, the birth mother and the young girl were found in Australia.

During this time, the donating mother took her case to court. Based on Florida state law, the court ruled that the woman who delivered the child had parental rights, while the woman who donated her eggs -- giving the child half of her DNA -- had none.

An appellate court agreed with the donating mother and said state law was not keeping up with the current state of society. The appeals court said that the lower court should work out an agreement between the parents, and it also asked the Florida Supreme Court to consider the constitutionality of the law that barred the donating mother from having parental rights.

Source: Click Orlando, "Brevard mom battles partner for custody of their child," Feb. 17, 2012

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