Florida judge grants sperm donor visitation rights

In the 21st century, as the definition of marriage and family evolve, innovative medical technologies also make it possible for, not only infertile couples, but also same-sex couples to have children. Under his paradigm, traditional family law issues such as child custody, visitation and a father's legal rights may get more complex.

Florida residents will find it interesting to learn that a Miami-Dade circuit judge has allowed the sperm donor, in addition to the married lesbian couple who used the man's sperm to conceive, to be listed on the birth certificate of their 23-month-old infant daughter. Apparently the lesbian couple and the man entered a verbal agreement where the man agreed to donate his sperm, but the man notes that the couple wanted a father, not just the sperm. After a child was conceived, the couple planned to have one woman adopt the baby, but the couple would raise the child together, and they asked the man to give up his rights. He declined.

The man and the lesbian couple were involved in two year paternity case. The case finally settled with one woman adopting the child with sole parental responsibility, but the father, the sperm donor, having visitation time with the child for the next two years and potentially overnights when the child turns four.

Presently under Florida law, sperm donors do not have any legal rights when it comes to artificial inseminations. The case above is unique, but an example of the changing family dynamic.

Source: Fox News, "Florida judge reportedly allows gay man, lesbian couple to be on daughter's birth certificate," Feb. 7, 2013.

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