In a very interesting case out of Florida, a judge recently signed off on a birth certificate listing three people as parents to a 23-month-old girl. Another twist, the parents were a lesbian couple and their gay male friend. The recent decision brings about resolution to a nearly two-year long fight between the three parents.
The fight began when the lesbian couple first met the man, Massimiliano Gerina, at a South Beach hair salon. The group became fast friends and, after a while, the women broached the subject of their interest in having a child. They approached Gerina several times over the span of at least a year about their desire to have him serve as sperm donor and eventually Gerina agreed.
Gerina claims that at the time he made clear to the couple that he wanted to play a role in the child’s life. He says at the time they were in complete agreement and that the three reached a deal allowing him to see the child whenever he wanted and essentially be a third parent. As is often the case in dealings with friends, Gerina failed to get any of this agreement in writing. He says the insemination happened much faster than any of them realized and they never had time to write down an agreement.
The problem arose immediately after the child was born. The women decided they did not want Gerina to have any parental rights and were happy with the Florida law which says that sperm donors have no legal rights to children. Gerina fired back and hired a lawyer claiming that the verbal agreement he had with the couple trumped the state’s sperm donor laws.
The judge ultimately agreed, granting Gerina a narrow victory. The final decision says that while the women will still have sole parental rights, Gerina will be allowed to visit with the child. Gerina also will not be expected to pay child support. As part of the agreement the judge agreed to reissue the girl’s birth certificate listing all three as parents.
Source: “Florida judge approves birth certificate listing three parents,” by Kevin Gray, published at ChicagoTribune.com.