Part I of this article discusses the facts surrounding D.M.T. v. T.M.H. Part II will discuss the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling and analysis.
The essesnce of the case centered around Florida Statute section 742.14. The statute states “the donor of any egg, sperm, or preembryo, other than the commissioning couple or a father who has executed a preplanned adoption agreement shall relinquish all maternal or paternal rights and obligations with respect to the donation or the resulting children”.
D.M.T. argued that the T.M.H. was barred from asserting any parental rights based upon the statute. T.M.H. argued that the statute was unconstitutional and it was improper to bar her from asserting any parental rights in this situation. The Florida Supreme Court agreed with T.M.H. and held that Florida Statute 742.14 that barred T.M.H. from asserting parental rights was unconstitutional. The Court stated that “the due process guarantees in the Florida and United States Constitutions and the privacy provision of the Florida Constitution do not permit the State to deprive this biological mother of parental rights where she was an intended parent and actually established a parental relationship with the child.
The Court found that these parents had agreed, at all times, to jointly raise the minor child as their own until their separation. The Court found that the parents did indeed raise the child jointly and as such, both parents should have a legal right to be a part of the minor child’s life. This case is a very important legal advancement of parents rights in the state of Florida. If you are in a same sex relationship with a minor child similar to this case, contact your expert family law attorneys to discuss your legal rights and responsibilities towards the minor child in the event your relationship was to end.