Gay sperm donor, lesbian couple reach child custody agreement

A judge in Florida has approved three names, from a gay man and a lesbian couple, to be included on their baby's birth certificate
 

Gay sperm donor, lesbian couple reach child custody agreement
09 February 2013

A gay man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple will be included in their child’s birth certificate.

A judge in the Miami-Dade circuit ruled that while the lesbian married couple will have sole responsibility over the two year-old child, the sperm donor Massimiliano Gerina will also be listed as the biological father on the birth certificate.

The trio had been embroiled in a legal battle over the past two years when Gerina sued the lesbian couple, Maria Italiano and her partner Cher Filippazzo, after they asked him to relinquish parental rights.

Kary Begin, Gerina’s attorney told the Miami Herald: ‘People have to understand, the case is really a second-parent adoption, meaning that there are not three equal parents.

‘We’re creating entirely new concepts of families,’ Begin added.

‘If you have two women seeking to be listed as parent one and parent two, that does not exclude listing a man as father. This is an adoption by two women, with him receiving certain rights.’

Three years ago Gerina agreed to donate his sperm to his friends who had been unable to conceive through professional fertility clinics.

Seven months after the lesbian couple got pregnant, they approached Gerina for him to sign away his rights to the baby. Gerina filed a lawsuit against the couple, even though Florida law specifies that sperm donors have no legal rights in artificial inseminations

According to Filippazzo, the three came to a verbal agreement before Italiano got pregnant. The agreement was for Filippazzo to adopt the baby and the two women, who married in Connecticut, would raise the baby together.

After two years in a legal battle, the judge’s ruling allows Gerina to have weekly visits with his daughter Emma, now 2 years old. In two years, Italiano and Filippazzo will consider Gerina having overnight stays with Emma.

In an interview with AP, Gerina said: ‘We created this family that is very unusual.

‘Love doesn’t have sex or color. If you have love to give to a child, please just do it.’ 

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