Parents in Pennsylvania may be interested to hear of an unusual child custody case. A real estate developer and his girlfriend made the decision to have a child together via surrogate. The girlfriend was able to see her son just after he was born nearly two years ago, but has not been able to see him since. A judge recently delivered a ruling in the complicated child custody case that has the father planning to file for an appeal.
The now-former girlfriend says it was the intention of the couple all along for the father to have sole custody of the boy but he would know his mother and have periods of visitation with her. The father claims she legally terminated all rights once she donated her eggs unless the relationship between the two resulted in marriage or became long-term. Numerous texts from the father before the boy was born, talking about "their" child played a part in the judge's ruling to legally declare the former girlfriend as the child's mother.
The judge gave some weight to an argument the couple had just after the birth of the boy that the father wanted to cut the mother out of the child's life. Just a few days after the birth, the father legally had himself declared the lone parent, with the mother's name omitted from the birth certificate. The mother had no knowledge of this action and now claims it was her punishment for not accepting his marriage proposal in addition to the aforementioned argument. The father is hopeful the judge's ruling is overturned by the Oregon Supreme Court before the mother and boy can begin a relationship.
Thankfully not all child custody cases are this complex. However, to ensure the rights of the parents and especially the child are respected, it is best to have an attorney examine all legal elements of any custody case. A Pennsylvania family law attorney can work to resolve any custody disputes that may arise.
Source: oregonlive.com, "Judge: Jordan Schnitzer is not sole legal parent; boy has mother, too", Aimee Green, Dec. 6, 2017