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Lesbians Trying To Do At-Home Insemination

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Me and my wife are trying to do at home insemination. We have a donor whom is a good friend of ours and everything is on track with that. But lately I have been worrying about other things. Here are some questions I want to try to get answered.

 

1. Will I be able to list my wife as the other parent on the babies birth certificate?

2. Will we be breaking any law by doing at home insemination in the state of Georgia?

3. What should we do, we both want to be our child parents and the father will not have an parental rights?

 

Thanks for all your help. and maybe we'll find some answers!

 

Kaila and Ariel 

post #2 of 8
I don't know the laws of Georgia but I will try to answer some questions.

1. My guess would be no since Georgia does not recognize your relationship. We can do that here but we are legally married in California. We still need to do a second parent adoption to make sure we are safe when we travel to other states that don't recognize our marriage.

2. I don't know, but here is an old thread on the topic.
http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1104630/legality-of-at-home-insemination-in-georgia/0_30

3. You will need to do a second-parent adoption to legally secure your parental rights and sever the parental rights of the donor. Georgia sounds iffy but not completely illegal according to this document below.

http://www.nclrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2PA_state_list.pdf

Here is a link to NCLR's resources about parenting. They also have a legal helpline. You may want to call to ask for more information.
Legal Help Line
1.800.528.6257 or
415.392.6257

http://www.nclrights.org/?issue-area=parenting&legal-topics=adoption-and-parenting&audiences=parents-potential-parents&post_type=resources

Do you have other friends who have gone through this? There might be a local organization that could help you find a lawyer to consult who would be more familiar with the local laws.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
We do not have other friends going or gone through this. I read somewhere that this can be a felony in the state of georgia. I'm so lost right now.
post #4 of 8
That just seems crazy! Men give their sperm away all the time. I'm sorry you have to worry about that.
post #5 of 8
Yeah, Georgia is weird. Where are you? You may be able to find a doctor in Atlanta who will do the insems for you so that you're not breaking the law and are able to do your second parent adoption.
post #6 of 8
Hi, the known donor registry has a listing of the applicable laws for each state. here's Georgia's:
http://www.knowndonorregistry.com/library/legal/233-private-donation-laws/us-laws-by-state/georgia-same-sex-marriage-artificial-insemination-embyro-transfer-surrogacy-and-adoption-law

It looks like technically it would be a felony for you to do 'artificial insemination' if you're not a doctor, but I'd be surprised if anyone ever called you on it. This looks like it's trying to keep people from setting up illegal clinics, not stopping individuals from doing whatever they are going to do in the comfort of their own homes. Might be worth asking a lawyer about--this is a question that they could probably field for free, or that legal help line. I think your issues are going to increase if simple at-home attempts don't work and you need to find doctors to help. This clinic: http://ivfga.com/services/lgbt advertises that it helps lesbian couples, so that might be a start--if you're not near them, they might be able to recommend someone closer.

Unfortunately as Pokey says, there's no way you'll both be listed as parents on the birth certificate if the baby is born in Georgia--you'd need to have them in a state that has gay rights protections (either sees you as married or allows same-sex parents to be on the birth cert) for that to happen. If that's really important to you, and it's financially feasible, you could consider temporarily relocating to an equality state for a month or so around the birth, but that's pretty extreme. In the same vein, there's no way that a known donor father won't be considered the legal father in Georgia, if it ever comes to that. The times when that seems to become an issue for folks is when either the known donor decides that he wants parental rights and sues for them, or if the moms need to apply for assistance--there was just a case in Kansas where they determined the donor to be the father against everyone's wishes for the purposes of garnishing child support payments. The only way to avoid that is to use an anonymous donor, which isn't an option for everyone.

I think that most people in states that don't recognize their relationships do a series of legal documents (powers of attorney for property and healthcare for each other and the baby, papers indicating guardianship in the case of incapacitation of the bio-mom, wills, etc), talk things through very thoroughly with their known donors to bring up any red flags before they get pregnant, and hope for the best. There are lots and lots of queer couples raising kids in the south (and other less-than-gay-friendly parts of the country), it's just a little more legally precarious than if you were in an equality state.

Good luck sorting all of this out! Hopefully soon all of this will be cleared up at a national level and none of us will have to jump through these stupid hoops just to make a family.
post #7 of 8
Ooo..looks like I typed too soon! It looks like you might be able to find someplace (probably in Atlanta) where judges would let you do a second parent adoption: http://www.georgiaequality.org/issues/MoreonAdoption.php This was the case in IL before civil unions went through--people were just careful to only bring their adoption petitions to judges in friendly counties so no one in the more conservative parts of the state could bring it up to a higher court and potentially ruin it for everyone else. I'd call Georgia Equality and find out what the deal is with this!
post #8 of 8
Quote:
 

 

1. Will I be able to list my wife as the other parent on the babies birth certificate?

2. Will we be breaking any law by doing at home insemination in the state of Georgia?

3. What should we do, we both want to be our child parents and the father will not have an parental rights?

 

I'm in Georgia - Atlanta area.   I also have worked in adoption, so I know a little about the laws here in Georgia.

 

1. No.  At least not immediately after the birth.  Once you process a legal adoption, you will get a birth certificate with both of you on it.

2.  Yes.  However, like someone else said, you are unlikely to be called out on this.  Depending on what lawyer you talk to and their interpretation of the law, doing an IUI (which is considered a medical procedure) is the problem.  But if you are just doing the old "turkey baster" method you're fine.  If you are concerned about this, I believe the Feminist Women's Health Clinic in Atlanta will work with known donor situations, but they do have to go through a period of testing and quarantine which can draw the process our for many months.

3. Find a lawyer who is versed in helping same sex couples with this.  The best bet is to have the lawyer draw up a Sperm Donor Agreement before you begin trying to get pregnant.  While not legally binding in Georgia, it helps establish intent if anything is ever called into question.  After you get pregnant, the lawyer will get a surrender of parental rights from the donor (this can be done before baby is born) and after the baby is born the lawyer will proceed with adoption for the non-birth mother.  Once the adoption is processed, you will get a new birth certificate that has both your names listed as the child's legal parents.  This however, depends on where you live.  Fulton and Dekalb counties are very friendly to same sex couples in this regard, other Georgia counties are not.  

We did an at-home insemination with a known donor.  Although our lawyer would have preferred we did not do it at home, she indicated that the majority of judges (in Fulton and Dekalb) processing the second parent adoption would just look the other way.  We did not run into any problems when we went through the adoption process because of that.  Everything went very smoothly for us and my partner became our daughter's legal parent 3 months after the birth.

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