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Appeals court denies donor's paternity request

Pennsylvania parents looking to have children with the use of a sperm donor may be interested to learn that a New York appeals court rejected parental rights to a donor. This was after the Chemung County Family Court ordered a paternity test with the intent to determine what parental rights the man could have.

The same-sex couple got married in 2014 and arranged an unofficial agreement with a man to act as a sperm donor. The man reportedly volunteered to give his sperm and waived any future claims of paternity to any offspring born as a result of the donation. However, after the child was born, there was a disagreement over visitation rights. When the paternity case was issued in court, the child was seven months in age.

Ultimately, the New York appeals court decided that granting the request for a paternity test on behalf of a sperm donor would disrupt or even destroy the family unit. Allowing a donor to request a paternity test would also expose the children to unnecessary instability, especially when it comes to children with same-sex parents.

Although same-sex marriage is legal in the state of Pennsylvania, the laws may not be particularly clear when it comes to the subject of divorce and child custody for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples and divorce issues could lead to disputes over custody, especially if only one parent is biologically related to the child. A family law attorney may be able to walk a person through the divorce process and determine what parental rights he or she may have regarding children that were brought into the marriage. If a custody battle does ensue, the attorney could work to protect the parent's rights.

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