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Lesbian Custody Battle in Florida Could Redefine Law on Egg Donation, Sperm Donation
A custody battle in Florida between two lesbians could fuel the growing national debate over the definition of motherhood and might force state lawmakers to reconsider a 19-year-old law regarding the rights of sperm and egg donors. One partner donated an egg that was fertilized and implanted in the other. That woman gave birth in 2004, nine years into their relationship. The couple separated two years later, and the birth mother eventually left Florida with the child without telling her former lover. Their fight over the now 8-year-old girl is before the state Supreme Court, which has not announced whether it will consider the case. A trial judge ruled for the birth mother and said the biological mother has no parental rights under state law, adding he hoped his decision would be overturned. The 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach obliged, siding with the biological mother and saying both women have parental rights.