April 2018 | Strickland v. Strickland Day, No. 2016-CA-01504-SCT (Miss. 2018)

Strickland v. Strickland Day (Mississippi 2018)

An anonymous sperm donor is not the legal father of a child and has no parental rights. A same-sex couple married and had a child using artificial insemination. One partner carried the child. The parents divorced, and the Chancery Court found that the child was born during the marriage, but not of the marriage. While the other parent had stood in loco parentis for the child, the sperm donor was the child’s legal father and his rights would have to be terminated for there to be another legal parent. The Supreme Court disagreed. It found that biology alone does not determine parentage. The parents agreed to have a child and had co-parented the child. The other parent relied on a belief that she was the co-parent of the child and took on parenting responsibilities. The Court found no reason to give rights to an anonymous donor who had no intention of having a relationship with the child.

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