Friday Legal Updates – Judgment Rendered in Ohio Surrogacy Case

Surrogacy – The Court of Appeals in Ohio rendered a decision yesterday involving a single unmarried woman who utilized a surrogate, egg donor and sperm donor in the State of Ohio. In what essentially became a dispute between the surrogate and the intended mother, the trial court determined that the surrogate was the presumptive maternal parent of the child until a determination could be made on the enforceability and validity of the surrogate agreement. Note that after the child was released from the hospital, the surrogate had released the child to an unrelated third party.

Ultimately, the intended mother filed a motion for summary judgment to grant her parental rights, which succeeded. However, within hours of the court filing the judgment on the motion, the surrogate filed an emergency motion, which was granted for the following day. Her contention was that the case should not be resolved on contract law, but rather based on the child’s best interests. This argument failed, and the trial court reaffirmed its earlier judgment.

At that point, the surrogate filed an appeal stating that the court erred as a matter of law and abused its discretion. She also argued that the intended mother was in breach of the surrogacy agreement and that she (the surrogate) was unable to perform under the surrogacy agreement. The resulting judgment by the Court of Appeals was the affirmation of the trial court’s judgment for the Intended Mother. Although it appears from the article that the Parties had counsel and proper guidance, this is another sad case for the books. I recommend reading the article for a better sense of the case itself.

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