Surrogate mothers no longer have to be named as the child’s mother on the birth certificate, according to a recent US court decision.
The ruling came about as a result of a case involving a surrogate and father from the Washington suburban area.
The woman who carried the twins for a father used an egg donor and had no genetic relationship to them. Both she and the father did not want her listed as the mother, the Associated Press reported.
The decision was 56 pages long and was 4-3 in favour of not putting a baby’s mother on the birth certificate.
Dorrance Dickens, the lawyer for the father and surrogate, was pleased with the outcome and told the AP, “Maryland’s breaking ground here.”
Maryland’s Equal Rights Amendment was utilised in arguing this decision: Maryland law already says that a man who doesn’t have a genetic relationship to a child may be ruled not to be the dad, so it should be the same for a mother, the majority said.
One of the judges, however, was not in agreement with the ruling.
Judge Dale Cathell wrote: “the majority, in essence, holds that if you do not intend to be the mother, you should not be responsible as a mother. [But] there are probably tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of fathers (and certainly mothers as well) who did not intend to be parents at the time of the actions that led to conception, who have been judicially determined to be responsible for the support of the child they did not intend to conceive.”
The children were born in 2001 and the case was argued in Maryland’s Court of Appeals, its highest court.
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