Tennessee state House Representative Terry Lynn Weaver is sponsoring HB 1406 to repeal Tennessee current statute, TCA 68-3-306, which declares that children born through artificial insemination are the “legitimate” child of the mother’s husband. Essentially, this would take away the rights of the husband who consented to the IVF procedure, which resulted in a child or children to be born via the mother.
The exact text is as follows: “repeals statute that deems a child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman’s husband, to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife.”
A year ago, 53 state legislators teamed up with a Christian conservative group and got involved with two Knoxville women who were seeking divorce.
According to Knoxnews:
Knox County Circuit Court Judge Greg McMillan ruled in June that Erica Witt has no legal rights under Tennessee law to involvement with a daughter born to Sabrina Witt through artificial insemination, as reported by the News Sentinel at the time. The couple were legally married in Washington, D.C., in April 2014, when same-sex marriage was prohibited in Tennessee. There is still no state law on the books authorizing same-sex marriages, but they were validated by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year.Get your FREE Essential Oils Beneftis Ebook!
The motion appears basically to endorse the position taken by McMillan in his ruling. The judge decided — as argued by Erica Witt’s attorney — that the relevant Tennessee statute dealing with parenting rights in cases of artificial insemination speaks only to “husbands” of the birth mother and does not cover the mother’s same-sex spouse.
It seems Weaver’s core issue might be with that of gay couples, however, the law’s overall target would seemingly be a much broader swatch of people. It would effect anyone using IVF or IUI. The truth is, this could call into question the legitimacy of children to couple who struggled for years with fertility issues. Many of these couples have spent thousands of dollars. Many lived in stressful environments for years. And many are wonderful, caring parents who were unable to have children without help.
As a mother who used this process, I can tell you that it is heartbreaking to think that my children’s “legitimacy” could in any way be compromised by overreaching Government. The struggle so many of us go through to have children shouldn’t be understated. We are, in most cases, loving parents who would do anything for our children.
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