Most news stories about same-sex couples fighting about parental rights deal with a non-biological or non-adoptive parent who is fighting for their rights to care for and spend time with their child or children. One Hawaiian woman, however, is fighting to have her parental rights terminated and is taking aim at marriage equality in the process.
When the woman, identified only as C.C., married her wife in 2013, the couple reportedly wanted children. She is now claiming that her wife became pregnant through a sperm donor in 2015 when C.C. was deployed with the military, and that she did not consent to becoming a parent. She is arguing that she should therefore not be required to pay child support now that the marriage has ended.
Hawaii law says that C.C., as the spouse of the parent who bore a child during their marriage, is a parent to that child, regardless of any genetic tie to the child.
In the legal case, now before the Hawaii Supreme Court, C.C. has argued that she should not be considered the child’s parent. An LGBTQ legal advocacy group, Lamda Legal, filed a brief with the court to support its argument that same-sex marriages must be treated the same as opposite-sex marriages. The group supports the child’s biological mother’s assertion that C.C. is their child’s other parent and should be responsible for paying child support just as a non-biological father would be required to do if this case involved a heterosexual couple.
It’s too early to know how the Hawaii Supreme Court will rule on this matter, however the facts of the case underscore the importance of ensuring surrogacy, sperm- or egg donor agreements and contracts fully reflect all parties’ needs and protect their legal rights now – and in the future.
If you’d like to learn more about this, contact us today! Our team of experts has the experience and ability to tailor a comprehensive family plan for you. After a thorough review of your third-party parenting needs we will present you with a contract and finalize your parental rights, if necessary, that will suit your needs.