Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Florida Supreme Court to hear one birth mother/one genetic mother case; trial court to rule on stay of appeals court order

National press is now focused on a Florida case about which I wrote in December.  In D.M.T. v. T.M.H., the child's birth mother is claiming that her ex-partner, whose egg was used to create the embryo that became the child, is not a parent.  The couple raised the child together for two years before splitting up.  The appeals court ruled that both women are parents.  This is not the first case of its kind, but I assume the attention it is receiving is at least to some extent its location -- Florida -- where until last year lesbians and gay men could not adopt children.  Nothing amazes me anymore, but it does take a lot of nerve to argue, as the birth mother did, that because of that ban Florida has a public policy against the assisted reproduction arrangement the couple used.  That's the arrangement  the couple -- both women -- used.

The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to review the appeals court ruling.  Briefs will be due in April and May.  Meanwhile, the birth mother requested a stay of the appeals court order. Yesterday, the state supreme court denied the stay but ordered the trial court to consider the appropriateness of a stay within thirty days.  The trial court is to specifically consider the best interests of the child in deciding whether to issue the stay.

The Florida Supreme Court has also denominated the case as "high profile," which means that all the pleadings, motions, briefs, and orders are available on line.

1 comment:

Katy Anders said...

Interesting one, but it seems like a weak argument on the part of the birth mother is fairly weak.

Is the ban you're referring to the former ban on lesbian adoption? If so, the fact that the ban is no longer in place seems like it ought to prevent a public policy argument. Unless the eventual repeal was in contradiction to Florida public policy...

Also, should she be able to reap the benefits of a public policy that (if it exists at all) she voluntarily violated?

I'll keep an eye out for developments on this!