In a groundbreaking decision, the Nevada State Supreme Court ruled that a lesbian who carried a child for her partner can seek parental rights. The unanimous ruling overturns a previous decision from a lesser court dictating that surrogates cannot seek custody of the children they bore.
Sha’Kayla St. Marie carried a baby that grew from the fertilized egg of Veronica Damon before the two ended their relationship. The baby was fathered by an anonymous sperm donor.
In light of their split, St. Marie is seeking additional rights; and this court opinion, written by Justice Nancy Saitta, gives her the wherewithal to pursue that goal. Saitta said that a prior agreement, which listed St. Marie as a “non-biological parent,” was valid, which disputes the finding of the lower court.
Such agreements, she wrote, “must not be deemed unenforceable on the basis of the parents being of the same sex. In this matter, the parties’ co-parenting agreement stated that if their relationship ended, they would continue to share in the responsibilities and privileges of being the child’s parent.”
The overturned district court decision would have allowed St. Mary to see the child just one day per week.
While this is the first case of its kind as it pertains to same-sex couples, Damon’s attorney Bradley Schrager said the decision was straightforward and not unlike similar opinions made in other custody battles.
“One of the issues with cases like this is that families change faster than the law does,” he explained.
This couple obviously planned for the possibility of a break-up; and the state Supreme Court has provided a path to enforce their wishes. While, based solely on the facts presented, the court opinion appears fair to the parties involved, it also highlights an unfortunate trend in today’s culture.
The family structure is rapidly deteriorating in this country as traditional Americans are disparaged relentlessly for their stubborn refusal to embrace the leftist ideology of permissiveness. Faced with mounting evidence that children thrive when given an opportunity to be raised by a loving mother and father, too many individuals — gay and straight — choose to live for themselves rather than the precious babies they brought into this world.
–Western Journalism staff writer
Photo credit: Philocrites (Creative Commons)