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Who is the Mom? Lesbians in Custody Battle

An estranged lesbian couple in Florida is in the midst of an extraordinary custody battle -- both claim to be the true mother of their daughter and they both have a case; one donated the egg, the other carried the baby.

The Daily Mail reports that back in 2003 an egg was taken from one of the women, fertilized, and then implanted in the other. A baby girl was born the following year.

The pair, whose names were not released, split two years later and have been battling for custody ever since.

The baby's birth certificate lists the birth mother as the mom, and state law only gives the birth mother parental rights. 

A lower court judge went by the letter of the law and awarded custody to the birth mother. However he said the ruling "broke his heart."

But now a state appeals court has overturned that decision, saying both women should share custody, writing:

This is a unique case and the appellate courts in Florida have never before considered a case quite like it.

The court said the Florida law is unconstitutional and has not kept up with advances in reproductive technology.

"Any ruling that supports the right of a same-sex couple is important for its willingness to recognize that these families exist and a child raised in this environment shouldn't be forced to give up a parent," Nancy Polikoff, an expert on gay family law, told the Orlando Sentinel.


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