Assisted Reproduction

Florida Rules Lesbian Egg Donor Has Parental Rights

Law that only protects heterosexual couples declared unconstitutional

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The Supreme Court of Florida ruled that two women who had a child in a same-sex relationship both have parental rights and that a reproductive-technology law which protects only heterosexual couples is unconstitutional.

The court issued the 4-3 ruling today in a custody battle that pitted the woman who supplied the egg against her former partner, who gave birth to the child. Both women were identified in the opinion only by initials.

The birth mother argued that her former partner didn't have parental rights under the Florida law governing assisted reproductive technologies. That law says egg and sperm donors generally relinquish their rights unless they are part of a "commissioning couple," defined as involving a man and a woman.