Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Same-Sex Family Law
In a recent Florida appellate case involving same-sex family law, the court acknowledged “‘the law is slow to address" changes in this area ‘as society and medicine create new factual situations.’" In the case Springer v. Springer, 2D18-2265 (Fla. 2d DCA July 19, 2019), the court considered an appeal by a woman who wanted parental rights and timesharing with a child conceived during her relationship with her former partner.
The parties were involved in a committed relationship and decided to conceive a child via intrauterine insemination. One party paid for the procedure and the other party became pregnant. The party who paid for the procedure had no biological connection to the child. The parties downloaded a form they found online which they called a co-parenting agreement and referred to the child throughout the document as “our child”. Subsequently, the parties separated and the party not biologically related to the child filed a petition for parental rights and visitation with the child. The parties never married and the non-biological party never adopted the child. Based on current Florida law, the trial court denied the petition and an appeal followed.
The appellate court upheld the trial court’s ruling, holding “a co-parenting agreement between a biological parent and a non-parent is not enforceable under Florida Law.” Despite likely acting as the child’s parent while the parties were in a relationship and forming a bond with the child, the non-biological “parent” had no rights to the child and was not legally considered to be a parent. This case illustrates how important it is for same-sex couples to consult with an attorney before undertaking any family planning.
Doing so may save potential heartache and confusion down the line. Schedule a consultation with a Miami Same-Sex Family Law Attorney to understand your options when it comes to ensuring that both parties to a same-sex relationship will have legal access to children born of the relationship.