In re BabyAnnotate this Case
A man and a woman entered into a contract with a surrogate and her husband that provided for the surrogate to be artificially inseminated by the sperm of the intended father. After giving birth, the surrogate was meant to relinquish the child to the biological father and the intended mother. Seventeen days prior to the birth of the child, a juvenile court issued a consent order that declared the paternity of the child, granted custody to the intended parents, and terminated the parental rights of the surrogate. Approximately one week after the surrogate gave birth, she filed a series of motions asking the magistrate to vacate the consent order, set aside the surrogacy contract, and award her custody. The magistrate denied the motions. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court vacated the portion of the juvenile court’s order terminating the parental rights of the surrogate but otherwise affirmed, holding (1) public policy requires compliance with the statutory procedures for the termination of parental rights and does not allow parties to terminate the parental rights of a traditional surrogate through judicial ratification of a traditional surrogacy contract; and (2) in this instance, the contractual provisions circumventing the statutory procedures for the termination of parental rights were unenforceable. Remanded.