There’s been a resolution for a super-messy situation involving a gay couple and a surrogate mother who refused to sign over custody of the child she’d carried for the two men.
Here’s the backstory: Gordon Lake and his husband Manuel Santos arranged for a surrogate mother to carry their daughter, who was born a little over a year ago. They went to Thailand for the surrogacy, they say, because of the superior medical facilities available there. (Which is a little odd, since the couple is American and Spanish and there seem to be pretty good facilities in those countries, but okay.)
The egg came from an anonymous donor, and the sperm was from one of the men. The surrogate was biologically unrelated to the baby, and says that she only found out that the couple was gay after she gave birth. At that point, she refused to sign the paperwork to allow the newborn to leave the country. The couple already had the baby with them at the time, but the surrogate started to demanding that they return them to her.
In fact, she said she wanted the baby to go to an “ordinary family” or a “legitimate married couple.” So that’s pretty unpleasant.
But now a court has upheld Gordon and Manuel’s custody of the baby, clearing a path for them to return home with her. It’s nice that they’ll be able to put the fight behind them, and lovely for that the court recognized their paternity despite marriage equality not being legalized (yet) in Thailand.
Since the baby was conceived, surrogacy has been banned in Thailand, so it’s unlikely that a case exactly like this will come up again soon. Still, a ruling that two fathers can bring their child home should be a comfort to same-sex parents everywhere.
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