Courts in Columbus and across the country usually put the best interests of the child as top priority when it comes to making child custody decisions. A lot of courts tend to favor a shared parenting arrangement, unless unusual circumstances show that one parent is not suitable. Most people might agree that having a variety of people loving and caring for a child is a positive thing. Perhaps that is what a judge in Florida had in mind during a ruling involving three parents wanting legal rights.
The case involves a lesbian couple and the male friend who donated his sperm to help them conceive a child. The agreement, made verbally, was that the women would be the child’s parents, with one of the adopting the child. But after some time, the man decided he wanted to have a larger role in the child’s life, hiring a lawyer in hopes of becoming a legal parent. The women disagreed, citing that under Florida law, a sperm donor has no rights.
In a ruling that seems to suit both the couple and the man, a judge has ruled to put all three people’s names on the girl’s birth certificate. While the women will have sole parental rights, the man will be allowed to visit her. As part of the ruling, he is also not obligated to pay child support.
One of the women said she believes the outcome is in the best interests of the child. She said they want their daughter to “have it all” and having the man a part of her life is a “nice addition for her.”
As this case points out, child custody issues can involve a variety of circumstances that don’t necessarily just involve two biological parents. Whether a child custody case involves parents, stepparents or grandparents, the hope is that the final outcome is one that will benefit the child in the long run.