It has been an ongoing debate for a very long time. If two women are in a relationship (whether married or just together) and they use a sperm donor so that one of the women can carry the baby to term, does the sperm donor have rights to the child?
When things get really complicated is if the same-sex couple decides to divorce. Just like in any other divorce, the family dynamic changes dramatically and the child often suffers more than anyone else in the situation. That is when there is a possibility that the sperm donor may start to claim rights that were not an issue before.
The mother who carried the baby is protected
If a same-sex couple has a baby with donated sperm, the mother who gave birth to the baby has rights: Her name will be on the birth certificate and she will be listed as the mother of the baby. There will also commonly be a signed contract between the biological mother and the sperm donor. The other mother of the couple may or may not be listed as the other mother on the birth certificate.
When a signed contract is in place, it is easy to have confidence that everything will be harmonious and that nobody will later make demands that seemingly come out of left field. A signed contract signifies that everyone involved agrees to the terms and after the signing, each person will go their separate ways and live their lives.
The game can change if divorce is in the picture
Sometimes, divorce can become ugly. If the couple is not behaving reasonably with each other (for whatever reason), all sorts of unpleasant things can come out. There are times when one or the other of the couple uses the child in some way to get back at the other spouse.
Unfortunately, that sort of situation sometimes lends itself to other people emerging and making things even more complicated. One such potential scenario is if a sperm donor decides to sue for custody of the child or to at least be declared the legal father of the child.
In such a case, the only safe thing to do may be for the second mother to legally adopt the child even if her name is on the birth certificate as the second mother. Otherwise, there may be difficulties of this type a few years down the line. The way that the law is written, there is one mother and one father and no room for any other way of thinking.
Solid advice from a family law attorney
When it comes to child custody, first and foremost, you must protect your rights. If you are experiencing a situation that is similar to the one described here, the solid advice of an experienced Sherman, Texas, family law attorney may help to improve your chances of your case having a favorable outcome so that you can look forward to a bright future.