Surrogate or ‘Just Friends’?

on November 6, 2012

A woman in Houston is claiming parental rights over the twin boys she gave birth two on behalf of a friend, using in-vitro fertilization and a donor egg.  The woman, Cindy Close, claims that she was promised by the genetic father, Marvin McMurrey, to raise the father together as “partners”, but that after the children were born, the man and his boyfriend claimed custody of the twins.

Despite the similarities to typical surrogacy arrangements (donated egg, in-vitro fertilization), Close says she was not a surrogate.   The relationship was based on “trust” she says and no money was exchanged.  She admits that she and McMurrey were not in a romantic relationship.

Close now has visitation rights for two hours a day, six days a week.

The case will have implications regardless of which way the court rules.  If the judge rules in favor of McMurrey, it could question the maternity of children born using a donor egg.  If the court rules in favor of Close, it could undermine surrogacy relationships in Texas, where gestational surrogacy is legal for married couples.

Under Texas surrogacy law, the married intended parents, not the gestational mother, are the legal parents of a child born to a surrogate mother if all parties entered into a validated gestational agreement at least 14 days before the embryo is transferred to the surrogate mother.

Read more about the case here.


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