Colleen and Ellen were partners who had twin daughters using ART. Colleen was in her forties when…

Colleen and Ellen were partners who had twin daughters using ART. Colleen was in her forties when they decided to have children, and she had large uterine fibroids, so she could not carry a pregnancy. They selected sperm from a sperm bank, which was used in intrauterine insemination on Ellen, but she did not conceive after several attempts. Next Ellen tried IVF, to no avail. Finally, the women decided to combine their contributions. Colleen had oocytes collected and fertilized and implanted in Ellen’s uterus. The women signed legal documents declaring Ellen the sole parent, with plans to consider a more shared arrangement five years later. At the clinic, Colleen signed a form that waived her rights to her oocytes or children resulting from their being fertilized. She would later claim that she signed it because she thought she had to for the procedure to be done. Ellen’s name was recorded on the birth certificates of their twin daughters. Although both women were active parents, their relationship deteriorated, and when the girls were 6, Ellen moved them across the country and kept Colleen from visiting them. The case ended up in the courts, which ruled that Ellen is the mother. The Marin County Superior Court declared Colleen’s relationship with the twins “legally irrelevant.” Colleen has petitioned the Supreme Court of California to consider the case. A.Who is the genetic mother and who is the gestational mother? B.Do you agree with the Marin County Superior Court’s decision that a genetic relationship is “legally irrelevant?” C.What information would you need to decide whether Colleen was being discriminated against because she is gay?

 

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