In NJ, an appellate court has ruled that a woman whose name appears on the birth certificate of her child must adopt that child. The baby was conceived using her husband’s sperm, a donated egg and a surrogate who relinquished parental rights. Because she has no genetic connection to her son, she has no legally recognized connection to him.
New Jersey, home of the Baby M controversy is no stranger to shortcomings in parentage laws. “We’re operating under a law that’s more than a quarter of a century old,” said Donald Cofsky, a Haddonfield attorney representing the family. “My clients believe this is something that has to be addressed – not just for them but for everybody else in this situation.”
In this case, a Superior Court handed down a pre-birth order allowing the woman, the “intended mother”, to be listed on the birth certificate. The Bureau of Statistics discovered the ruling and asked that it be invalidated saying only a genetically connected woman could be listed as a mother. This interpretation falls under a law written over 25 years ago when babies conceived through IVF with donated eggs were not so common. If a surrogate mother uses her own egg, then the baby would need to be adopted by the intended mother. That was not the case with this birth, but the laws do not address this circumstance.
Cofsky says this is also a discriminatory ruling since a man does not have to prove his genetic connection to a baby. The husband is the presumed father and the same should be said of the mother, in cases like this one. “The law says a mother has to be genetic, biological or adoptive,” Cofsky pointed out. “A father doesn’t have to be any of those.”
Changes to existing laws are being considered and will likely take effect in two to three months. But eventually, they will catch up.
Source: NJ.com, LifeSiteNews