Adoption of Daphne
Update April 2, 2020: Victory! The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state Probate and Family Court clearly has jurisdiction to establish the parentage of a child born through gestational surrogacy in Massachusetts to an intended parent living outside the United States. Read GLAD’s press release about the ruling.
Update January 8, 2020: The Supreme Judicial Court ordered the Probate and Family Court to accept the petition for adoption on the grounds that the court has jurisdiction to consider it.
The LGBTQ community faces unique challenges in securing their parent-child relationships due to bias and outdated statutes. In the United States, despite the constitutional mandate of equality for LGBTQ couples and families articulated in Obergefell v. Hodges, and Pavan v. Smith, there are still many instances of discrimination for LGBTQ people who want to adopt or build families.
A citizen of Mauritius seeks to adopt his child who was born in Massachusetts through gestational surrogacy. Due to lack of pre-birth documentation, the state followed default procedure and defined the surrogate as mother on the child’s birth certificate. As a result of the lack of legal protections for LGBTQ parents in Mauritius and the lack of statutory clarity for children born in Massachusetts, the parent found themselves vulnerable and unable to legally secure protection for their family.