Forget about the debate over passport forms replacing ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’ with ‘Parent One’ and ‘Parent Two’ -- make way for Parent Three! A Florida judge has ruled that a 22-month-old baby girl shall have three people listed as her parents on her birth certificate -- a married lesbian couple and the gay man that provides one half of her DNA.
Maria Italiano, 43, and Cher Filippazzo, 38, had not successfully conceived a much-desired child, even after several attempts at fertility clinics. Italiano’s hairdresser Massimiliano Gerina offered to provide his sperm for artificial insemination after the women approached him on the subject.
It seems as though the three of them had worked out a sperm donation for the couple to have a child, but never put anything in writing. When baby Emma was born, bio-dad decided that he wanted to play a role in her life.
The moms’ attorney, Kenneth Kaplan, attested, "When push came to shove, they figured he would understand the situation ... the mistake they made, however, was there should have been a written document spelling out what his rights and responsibilities were going to be."
Under Florida law, sperm donors have no legal right to children, but the judge in this case made an exception since nothing was in writing. The two moms will retain sole parental rights, while dad will have visiting rights. He is not expected to pay child support.
I have to say, I admire this little girl’s mamas. They made a mistake in not documenting the legal ramifications of the DNA donation, but allowed this concession in Emma’s best interest. Filippazza said:
We're trying to do the right thing for Emma ... 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 ... the role is this is mommy's good friend who helped your moms have you because they wanted you so badly.
Besides, studies show that all children benefit from having a male role model in their lives. Here’s to hoping Gerina doesn’t skip out of Emma’s life after having fought so hard to be a part of it.
Do you think the best interest of the child was taken into consideration in this case?
Image via Helene Samson/Flickr