Lesbian Couple’s Sperm Donor Sues for Parental Rights

A New York state man who supplied his sperm for a lesbian couple’s at-home insemination was denied a paternity test by a state appeals court last week, possibly ending his battle for parental rights over the now 3-year-old girl who was born as a result of his donation.

In a unanimous ruling that put family before biology, a five-judge panel overturned a county family court’s 2015 order that the child undergo a paternity test, finding that not only would the test be against the child’s best interests, but asserting that the “presumption of legitimacy”—a legal term for the general assumption that a child born to a husband and wife is the biological child of both parents—extends to same-sex couples as well (PDF).

“We believe that it must be true that a child born to a same-gender married couple is presumed to be their child and, further, that the presumption of parentage is not defeated solely with proof of the biological fact that, at present, a child cannot be the product of same-gender parents,” Justice Robert Mulvey wrote in a 19-page decision.




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