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Connecticut ruling grants gay couple parenting rights in surrogacy case

Friday, January 21, 2011

Anthony (left) and Shawn Raftopol, with their daughter Zoe, also born to a surrogate in 2006.

HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a gay couple who were denied parental rights by the state after they used a surrogate to give birth to their child.

The court’s decision is being hailed as a victory for both same-sex couples and any other parents that use surrogates.

Anthony and Shawn Raftopol were legally married in Massachusetts in 2008, and used a surrogate to give birth to their twins, Sebastiaan and Lukas, now 2. Because Anthony, 41, was the biological father, he had full parental rights. But when the couple tried to obtain a birth certificate, also naming Shawn, they were told he had no legal claim to the children.

Via ABC News:

But the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled this week that Shawn Raftopol, 40, has parenting rights, even though he is not the biological father, because the couple had a valid surrogacy agreement.

The court rejected the state’s argument that the co-parent would have to go through a second-parent adoption proceeding in order to be listed on the birth certificates.

The decision will have far-reaching ramifications for other couples — gay and straight — who choose to have their children through surrogacy.

The court’s decision affirmed a lower court’s order confirming their parentage, and requires the state to issue the Raftopol’s a corrected birth certificate. The ruling allows for two partners who sign a surrogacy agreement in Connecticut to have both their names on the birth certificate, even without a genetic link.

The Raftopols have been together for 16 years and used the same egg donor and gestational carrier for the birth of their daughter Zoe in 2006.

South Carolina

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7 more reader comments:

  1. Proud to live in CT!!

    Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 9:56pm
  2. seriously should not have even been a issue. some one knew what the plan was when the set the apt took the sample fertalized a egg and charged thes people atleast 10k for the first try weather it took or not so why make them go thru hell heart ache and extra stress shame shame America and these Men are that babies parents so stop playing People…. get over yourselves

    Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 10:03pm
  3. Sadly the world isn’t perfect kelly :(

    Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 10:13pm
  4. Glad we live in CT!!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 10:19pm
  5. What a lot of strait people dont realize is that a same sex couple can take as good care of a child as any other couple, and sometimes, even better care! I have yet to hear about a same sex couple who has abused, neglected, molested, or killed their children… I dont see why this was ever an issue. If someone wants a baby and they have the means to provide for the child, they should be allowed. There are lots of people who want children but cant conceive, and plenty of people who dont want children but have baby after baby. Its a sad, sad world.

    Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 10:34pm
  6. Thank you! So happy to read this article.

    As a 2x surrogate, I am about to start a third journey for a gay couple.. I am ecstatic to help them. And I am thankful that in my state (Oregon), they allow both men to go on the birth cert. :D <3

    Posted on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 3:36am
  7. Just get government out marriage already. Why do we want government in control of marriage anyways? True equality can only come through government free marriage.

    Posted on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 9:10pm