Donor Parental Rights – Florida

The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled that an egg donor has parental rights not because she was biologically related to the child but because:

“The couple’s actions before and after the child’s birth — including their use of funds from their joint bank account, their statements to the reproductive doctor that they intended to raise the child as a couple, the counseling they underwent to prepare themselves for parenthood, the use of a hyphenated last name for the child, and the joint birth announcement — reveal that the couple’s agreement in actuality was to both parent the child.” 

The decision does not affect anonymous egg or sperm donors, but does strengthen the claim of parties who hold the child out as his or her own.

This issue is not limited to Florida.  If you are in a committed, though non-married, relationship and considering raising children together you and your partner should consider speaking to a qualified family law attorney who can explain each person’s rights and help you draft agreements to effectuate you and your partner’s understandings.