June 2022 | 2022-NCCOA-359 (N.C. Ct. App. 2022)

McLane v. Goodwin-McLane (North Carolina 2022)

An artificial insemination contract is valid as long as there is proper consideration. This case involves three people, a sperm donor, the recipient, and the other parent, plaintiff. The Plaintiff and the recipient, a same-sex couple, married and decided to have a child. The donor agreed to donate sperm. After the recipient became pregnant, the donor, the recipient, and the plaintiff, entered into a contract drafted by the donor. The parents separated after the child’s birth. The donor filed a legitimization action. The plaintiff filed a breach of contract action against the donor and the recipient, alleging donor had given up his right to raise the child as part of the contract. The trial court found the donor in breach of contract. The donor appealed, arguing the plaintiff had no rights under the contract. The appellate court affirmed. The contract specifically mentioned plaintiff, stated the child would be considered as born of the parents’ marriage, and plaintiff signed it. As such, plaintiff standing to file the breach of contract action. The contract wasn’t void as against public policy. The contract was signed after the pregnancy, which wasn’t ideal. But, the contract still required the parties to give up rights – the donor gave up the right to parent the child and the parents gave up the right to seek support. This was proper consideration.

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