I also agree that if the woman gave birth she is the mother without a prior contract stating otherwise.
That said, I do not think just because the mother is a woman, that the woman should automatically get primary custody. DH loves his girls, and I can not imagine a judge giving Me custody over DH just because I am a woman and he is a man. I pray that we are never in a situation where there is a custody battle.
Sorry it took me so long to get back to this. I have fixed the formatting (hopefully!) on the original article.
The second article that Stacey quoted does have a little more info. In addition to the 7 year relationship/friendship/whatever it does state the following:
The lawsuit states McMurrey paid for the procedure, placing anonymous donor eggs he fertilized into Close's uterus."Earlier this year, I found out I was pregnant and I found out I was pregnant with twins," Close said. "I was absolutely thrilled. I always wanted twins."
But that joy turned into a nightmare when she learned more about the man she thought would share parenting with her. After a premature delivery at Texas Children's hospital, she received devastating and shocking news.
"The real kicker for me was the day the children were born," she said. "The social worker came to me and said we had a surrogate situation and claiming I was a surrogate for him and his domestic partner that I didn't even know he had."
In a matter of minutes, she said she learned the man she was dating was gay and her little boy and girl were being taken away. McMurrey filed a lawsuit, saying she wasn't the biological mother and had no rights, despite having the children.
The idea that he paid for the procedure is all that seems to indicate his allegation that it was a surrogate arrangement. I cannot, however, fathom how that alone was enough *IF* that last quote is true. Heck, what if your parents helped pay for an IVF procedure. Does that mean your child then belongs to your mom & dad? I know that this is highly simplifying a complicated case since yes, he did *donate* sperm to her IVF procedure. I am hoping that she is able to prove her case somehow via email trails, letters, or something OR that the burden of proof is on the father to prove a surrogacy relationship existed (beyond him signing a check.)In Texas, it's not the mother's burden to prove she is the parent, Close's attorney, Grady Reiff, said. McMurrey must prove Close was a surrogate.
Granted, maybe he does have some compelling proof to back up his side. I'll have to remember to check back on this story next week!
It seems like he must have some proof, or this could not have happened. Or at least I hope not.
Something about this story bothers me. I just feel like there is more to it than the mother is stating. To me, there are just so many questions in my mind that make me believe her side completely.
Mama to 5 Honey Bunnies
Why would he pay for IVF if he wasn't going to co-parent? I think she's lying. Not that I wouldn't if I wanted kids, but I think she knew he wanted full custody. Just looking at a picture of that man (or the one the media is showing) lets you know he's not straight.
How Much Do Surrogate Mothers Get Paid? | ModernMom.com
I know the article says that surrogates sometimes give their "services" away for free to friends, but do they really seem that close for a 48 year old to put her body through such a risky pregnancy for free if she was a surrogate?Surrogate Fee
The surrogate mother usually receives a fee in addition to her medical and other expenses for her participation. Becoming a surrogate is like accepting a 24-hour a day job for approximately 20 months. Intended parents typically compensate the surrogate for her commitment with a predetermined cash fee. The total fee is usually divided monthly, by trimester or paid in a lump sum following a successful delivery. In addition to her other expenses, she will usually receive a maternity clothing allowance and flat-fee payments for her contribution. According to Surrogatemothers.com, the average fee in 2010 ranges from $0, for those women who volunteer their services, often to a friend, to approximately $20,000.
The surrogate mother's medical expenses are also paid by the intended parents. This includes all ob-gyn visits for prenatal care. It may also include any additional medical care needed in the interest of the surrogate's general health and comfort. This is determined when the contract is drawn up and agreed to by both parties. In addition, the cost of labor and delivery is borne by the intended parents, who may also pay for childbirth preparation classes for the surrogate. Some surrogate agreements have a built-in emergency fund clause. This clause provides a predetermined amount of money that is held in escrow for items such as car repairs or unusual circumstances, such as preventing the surrogate mother from getting evicted from her residence. Essentially, this funding would be used to maintain the surrogate's living safety and comfort during the pregnancy. Any portion of the funds not used would be returned to the intended parents following delivery. While the expenses and emergency money do not come directly to the surrogate mother, it does alleviate any financial risk to her if the intended parents decide to walk away from the agreement.
I can't imagine being or having a surrogate for anyone without a contract. I can't imagine being a surrogate at 48. I can't imagine wanting to Co parent with someone I didn't know was gay with a partner. I can't imagine being the dad with custody and having them live at my partners house without me there.
Both sides of the story are screwed up.
DD1 July 2008 (41w3d)
November 2010 (13 weeks)
DD2 August 2011 (33w5d)