A Florida court has ruled that it will allow a 22 month-old baby girl to be adopted by three parents – a lesbian couple and a homosexual man.
According to Reuters, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Antonio Marin ruled that the child’s birth certificate may include the name of the biological father as well as the married lesbian couple, a decision that will bring to an end a two-year paternity fight between the parents of the child.The battle started when Maria Italiano, 43, and Cher Filippazzo, 38, turned to Italiano’s hairdresser, Massimiliano Gerina, to provide sperm for artificial insemination after their fertility clinic treatments failed to work.
The three made a verbal agreement before the insemination that Italiano would adopt the baby and raise it with her partner. However, shortly before the baby was born, Gerina decided he wanted to be more involved in the child’s life.
“I wanted to be a father,” said Gerina, an immigrant from Cagliari, Italy, to The Daily Mail. “I guess it is nature. A woman wants to be a mother and a man wants to be a father one day.”
He also wanted to be Emma’s father because he believed she needed him in her life.
“It is a kind of a modern family, but I’m very old style. I believe that kids should have both a male figure and a female figure,” he said.
The women were not in agreement with him, however, and because Florida law gives sperm donors no legal rights, they decided to take their case to court.
“When push came to shove, they figured he would understand the situation,” said Kenneth Kaplan, an attorney for the women. “The mistake they made, however, was there should have been a written document spelling out what his rights and responsibilities were going to be.”
The case wasn’t settled until Judge Marin ruled that the women would have sole custody of the child but would allow Gerina to visit her.
Gerina will not be expected to provide child support.
“We’re trying to do the right thing for Emma,” Filippazzo said. “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 said. “The role is this is mommy’s good friend who helped your moms have you because they wanted you so badly.”
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