After two years of legal fighting between a lesbian couple and the gay man they used as sperm donor to have their daughter, a Florida judge’s decision surprises everyone.
The 22-month-old baby girl’s birth certificate will list all three people as her parents; her biological father and both women.
As NBCNews.com reports, Maria Italiano, 43, and Cher Filippazzo, 38, tried to have a baby using fertility clinics. When that didn’t work they asked Italiano’s hair dresser, Massimiliano Gerina, if he would donate his sperm for artificial insemination.
He agreed. Before the pregnancy the three decided that Filippazzo would adopt the child and she and her longtime partner, the baby’s biological mom, would raise the child together.
Problem is, they only had a verbal agreement, nothing in writing. So when Gerina decided he wanted to play a larger role in the baby’s life shortly before her birth he had rights as he’s the biological dad. However, Florida law states sperm donors have no legal rights to children. Gerina said he wants to be considered a parent, not a sperm donor, so he hired a lawyer and the battle began.
The judge gave Gerina visitation rights though the women have sole parental rights. And the women seem okay with that.
“We’re trying to do the right thing for Emma,” Filippazzo tells NBC. “We want Emma to have it all, and we believe by doing it this way, including him in a birthday or Thanksgiving, it’ll be a nice addition for her.”
“We believe the best interest for Emma is for him to have a role in her life, but not as a parent,” she said. “The role is this is mommy’s good friend who helped your moms have you because they wanted you so badly.”
Good job, judge. Nothing wrong with a bonus parent. Although I’m not a fan of Gerina’s for going back on his word, it’s probably difficult to father the child of a friend and then be left out in the cold. Let this be a lesson, folks. Verbal agreements mean nothing. Get it in writing!
You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.
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Photo Credit: publicrecordssearchonline.com