We have said it before, and we will say it again. The definition of family has changed due to advancements in science. Where it once required a man and a woman and a sexual relationship to make a baby, it no longer does. The traditional biological requirements are still there: 1 egg, 1 sperm and 1 womb. However, scientific advancement such as en vitro fertilization has altered the traditional scenario.
A court outside of California is currently deciding how to handle the custody dispute involving twins, one boy and one girl. What makes the situation unusual is that the couple who are currently claiming custody is not really a couple at all. A man and a woman who have never had a sexual relationship but who were friends for years decided to have children together. The woman gave birth to twins who were conceived through use of the man’s sperm and a third woman’s donated egg.
The woman claims that the couple had decided to co-parent the children together instead of seeking a partner to have a child with or going it alone. That agreement is being disputed by the man, arguing that he is the biological father and that the woman only acted as a surrogate to the children without legal rights.
Unsurprisingly, it is a very emotional issue for both of them. The woman feels not only as though her children are being ripped away from her and that she is being denied what she knows to be true. “I am their mother. I gave birth to them, I loved them, I loved them when they were inside my body. I planned to raise them,” she said.
On the other side, the biological father feels as though his right to his children is being forcibly shared with another person who he never agreed to share the responsibility with. He feels as though his children are being involved in something they never should have.
Who is right? Who is wrong? While the outcome of this case may not directly affect parents in California, the feelings are the same. The desire to protect your children is something that is common across the nation, and the issues brought about by scientific advancements are going to continue to require the assistance of a family law attorney.
Source: abc news, “Man, woman face off for parental rights of twins,” Miya Shay, Sept. 24, 2012