Contact: Mat Staver - 407-875-2100
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 22, 2005
California Supreme Court Rules That Children Can Have Two Lesbian Moms
SAN FRANCISCO – Today the California Supreme Court ruled that children can have two moms. Liberty Counsel filed amicus briefs in all three of today’s cases on behalf of Kristina Sica. Liberty Counsel urged the court to protect the right of a biological mother to direct the upbringing of her children without interference from a nonparent, former same-sex partner.
In K.M. v. E.G., EG, with ova donated by KM, and inseminated by a sperm donor, gave birth to twins on December 7, 1995. KM signed the standard Consent Form for Ovum Donor, which states that she waives any claim to the children born from the donated eggs. At EG’s insistence, KM did not disclose to anyone that she was the donor. Nor did EG agree to permit KM adopt the child at birth. After the couple separated in March 2001, KM filed a petition to establish a parental relationship with the twin five-year old girls. The Supreme Court, in a 4-2 decision, found KM to be a parent. “A woman who supplies ova to be used to impregnate her lesbian partner, with the understanding that the resulting child will be raised in their joint home, cannot waive her responsibility to support that child. Nor can such a purported waiver effectively cause that woman to relinquish her parental rights.” Two of the justices filed dissenting opinions, criticizing the majority for creating new law that contradicted the plain language of the statute.
In Elisa B. v. Emily B., the Supreme Court adopted an “intent test” for determining parentage, concluding that a woman who agreed to raise children with her lesbian partner, supported her partner’s insemination, and received the resulting twin children into her home and held them out as her own, is considered a parent under the Uniform Parentage Act. As a result, Elisa B, as the non-biological partner, could not disclaim responsibility to financially support the children. The Court explained that there is no “reason why both parents of a child cannot be women.”
In Kristine H. v. Lisa R., the biological mother, while seven months pregnant, and the lesbian partner had obtained from the Superior Court a judgment declaring both of them parents of the unborn child. Two years after the child was born, the biological mother filed a petition to set aside the previous judgment. The lesbian partner filed a separate action for custody of the child. The California Supreme Court refused to invalidate the agreement. In this case, like the two companion cases, the Supreme Court explained that in California, a child can have two moms.
Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, stated: “Today’s ruling defies logic and common sense. By saying that children can have two moms, the court has undermined the family. This ruling establishes a policy that essentially says moms and dads are mere surplus. Thousands of studies conclude that children need moms and dads, not two moms and two dads, but one of each. Gender does matter to children. Today’s ruling underscores the importance of amending California’s constitution to preserve marriage as one man and one woman. The people of California will not put up with such nonsense.”