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Houston surrogate fights for parental rights

In the immediate moments following the birth of a child, parents may look across to each other with tears in their eyes over the precious gift that just came into the world -- the months of pregnancy and the pain of labor are quickly forgotten. It is highly unlikely that in such a tender moment, parents would look across at each other with contempt in a mutual effort to keep the child. Usually, those glances of disdain are saved for the courtroom when the relationship has soured and a child custody battle is proceeding.

In a highly unusual Houston, Texas, custody battle, the custody surrounding a pair of twins is being litigated. Reportedly, the father of the twins provided his sperm, which impregnated donor eggs. A friend of the father was the surrogate and carried the twins to term, under what she says was an agreement to co-parent.

Now the father and surrogate are fighting in a Houston courtroom over custody of the little boy and little girl. According to the surrogate, "They're trying to say I'm never the mother of my children, and I am their mother. No matter how it turns out, I am their mother. I gave birth to them, I loved them when they were inside my body. I planned to raise them." According to this mother, while there is no genetic link to the children, she and the man agreed to co-parent the children when she agreed to the surrogacy.

The outcome of this custody battle could have implications for other mothers in Texas that use donor eggs. While the case remains in litigation, the surrogate has been granted visitation. She goes to the father's partner's house daily to visit the children that she is attempting to keep custody of. Ultimately, the ruling will come down to the best interest of the children.

Source: KTRK-TV, "Man, woman face off for parental rights of twins," Miya Shay Sept. 24, 2012

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