After two years of legal battle, a lesbian couple and a gay sperm donor from Miami have settled their differences and Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Antonio Marin included the name of all three as parents in the birth certificate of the 23-month-old girl child.
According to Miami Herald, Miami family lawyer Karyn J. Begin was ebullient. She said, “We’re creating entirely new concepts of families. If you have two women seeking to be listed as Parent One and Parent Two, that does not exclude listing a man as father.” However, the two mothers would have sole custody and parental responsibility, while the biological father would be allowed visitation rights without any duty to offer child support.
The women, Maria Italiano and Cher Filippazo had married in Connecticut and then moved to Florida. After several unsuccessful attempts to become pregnant at fertility clinics, the couple approached Massimiliano Gerina, a gay hairdresser, to donate his sperm. There weren’t any verbal agreements, but after successful pregnancy at home, when the women took a contract to Gerina for signing, he refused. He wanted to be a father.
When asked why he wanted to be a father, Gerina answered – it’s nature, the same reason a woman wants to be a mother. Gerina had resigned to the fact that he would never become a father where he grew up in Cagliari, Italy. When he moved to Florida, he met many gay parents raising children. And then, when he learned that a child was being born from his sperm – he wanted recognition as the biological father, and wanted visitation rights.
However, under Florida law, a sperm donor cannot have such rights. But then, the women too, did not have any written document or contract with Gerina. So, the matter went to courts.
One thing Begin, the lawyer for Gerina told Miami Herald was significant. Without mentioning how much was actually spent on legal fees, she said, “All of the parties involved in this could have funded this little girl’s college tuition, and paid their attorneys instead.” This, according to Begin, could well have been avoided if there were a proper contract from the beginning, and prior to using the sperm for conceiving the child.