A Florida judge is allowing the names of three people -- a gay man and two lesbians -- to be included as the parents on a 23-month-old girl's birth certificate.
According to Reuters, the decision by Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Antonio Marin is the end of a two year battle between the lesbian couple who used the man's sperm to conceive the girl, but the man later wanted more of a part in the child's life.
This photo shows the baby's biological father and mother and her adoptive mother with the judge who ruled all three could be on the child's birth certificate. The mothers have sole parental rights but the father has been granted visitation. (Photo: Facebook via the Miami Herald)
Here are more details surrounding the situation from Reuters:
The women, Maria Italiano, 43, and Cher Filippazzo, 38, had made several unsuccessful attempts to become parents using fertility clinics.
They then turned to Italiano's hair dresser, Massimiliano Gerina, and asked if he would provide his sperm for artificial insemination.
"When push came to shove, they figured he would understand the situation," said Kenneth Kaplan, an attorney for the women.
"The mistake they made, however, was there should have been a written document spelling out what his rights and responsibilities were going to be."
The Miami-Herald reported Gerina's lawyer Karyn Begin saying "we’re creating entirely new concepts of families." Initially, Gerina was seeking parental rights and had Begin draw up these rights and a visitation schedule in a contract, which "they hated," Gerina said. It was at this point, shortly after the girl was born in 2011 that they all officially went to court.
Although under Florida law sperm donors technically have not legal rights to the children they help father, the judge ultimately decided the two women will have sole parenting rights, but Gerina will be allowed some visitation twice a week for the next two years.
“The mothers are in charge. I’m just going to spend time with her. They are the parents,” Gerina said, according to the Miami Herald.
The mothers seem to agree that the arrangement could benefit the toddler.
"We're trying to do the right thing for Emma," Filippazzo said according to Reuters. "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."
Lawyers involved said many of these legal issues could have been avoided if all parties involved had discussed the implications and drew up a legal contract before the child was conceived.
Scientific research has also shown a baby could be made with the DNA of three parents, which could call into question the three parent birth certificate issue again someday as well.