In-vitro fertilization and other assisted reproductive techniques give couples the opportunity to overcome their struggles with infertility or other hurdles, and create a loving family. However, it can sometimes present unique legal issues, particularly as it relates to child custody. In fact, this was recently the case right here in Texas, where a rather intriguing custody case is playing out in a Houston courtroom.
According to court documents, Cindy C. gave birth to a twin boy and girl earlier this year acting as a surrogate. For those unfamiliar with the concept of a surrogate, it typically means a woman has a fertilized embryo implanted inside her, meaning she has no real genetic link to the developing child. In typical arrangements, the woman carries the baby for a couple who will then assume custody after the birth.
While there is no dispute that Cindy C. agreed to act as a surrogate for Marvin M. and his partner, there is now a real legal dispute as to whether the Marvin M. and Cindy C. agreed to co-parent the twins.
“They’re trying to say I’m never the mother of my children, and I am their mother. No matter how it turns out, I am their mother,” she said. “I gave birth to them, I loved them when they were inside my body. I planned to raise them.”
Here, Cindy C.’s attorneys are arguing that a co-parenting agreement did indeed exist and that no real genetic link is needed to establish her role as a mother. Conversely, Marvin M.’s attorneys are arguing that no such agreement existed and that since the children were fathered by him with donated eggs, Cindy C. has no genetic link to them and cannot properly be considered the mother.
The hearing in this case was held late last month and a final decision is likely to be issued sometime over the next few weeks. In the meantime, the twins are living with Marvin M. and his partner, with Cindy C. visiting them daily.
Stay tuned for more on this intriguing case from our Ft. Worth family law blog …
To learn more about child custody or visitation, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.
This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
KTRK-TV, “Man, woman face off for parental rights of twins,” Miya Shay, Sept. 24, 2012