A Florida judge has approved a private adoption that will list a married lesbian couple and the biological father on the birth certificate of a 23-month-old baby girl, reports the The Miami Herald.
“We’re creating entirely new concepts of families,” Karyn J. Begin, the dad’s attorney, told The Miami Herald. “If you have two women seeking to be listed as Parent One and Parent Two, that does not exclude listing a man as father.”
The married lesbian couple, Maria Italiano and Cher Filippazzo, had tried using fertility treatments to become parents without success. They then approached their friend Massimiliano “Massimo” Gerina, a single gay hair stylist, about donating sperm. “I was flattered by it,” Gerina told The Miami Herald. “I thought, what a great opportunity for me to have a baby.”
The three made a verbal agreement before Italiano conceived using the donated sperm. Filippazzo planned to adopt the child, and raise her with Italiano. Gerina would not have any legal rights.
Under Florida law, sperm donors have no legal rights in artificial inseminations, but Gerina decided that he wanted to be a parent shortly before the baby girl, Emma, was born. When the women disagreed, Gerina filed a suit that lasted almost two years before the parties settled a week before the trial.
Under the judge’s decision, the mothers will support Emma financially and have all decision-making responsibilities. Gerina is recognized by the state as the father and will have visitation rights.
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"We're trying to do the right thing for Emma," Filippazzo told Reuters. "We want Emma to have it all, and we believe by doing it this way, including him in a birthday or Thanksgiving, it'll be a nice addition for her."
"We believe the best interest for Emma is for him to have a role in her life, but not as a parent," she added. "The role is, this is Mommy's good friend who helped your moms have you because they wanted you so badly."