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Unconventional conception does not prevent visitation, court says

For some people in Mississippi, becoming pregnant is relatively easy. For others, it is something they must try for over an extended period of time. One out-of-state man and woman were fortunate enough to become parents, despite an unconventional method of conception. Unfortunately, the couple quarreled over the father's role in the child's life, ultimately leading to a court granting the man visitation.

The case began when a woman approached a friend about having a child with her. After several attempts, she was eventually able to become pregnant through the use of the man's sperm and a turkey baster. Unfortunately, the two appeared to have different ideas of the man's continuing role in the child's life. He assumed he would be able to see the baby as much as he wanted, while she thought he would be involved, but no more than any other family friend. The pair never put their agreement in writing.

The man and woman eventually had a disagreement over what to name the baby. When the man learned of his child's birth, he visited his new son in both the hospital and at home. However, the child's mother described the visits as strained and eventually asked him to stop coming. Because the child had not been conceived through intercourse, she thought she would be considered the child's only legal parent.

As a result, the man turned to the court. Although the child's mother argued that the man was no more than a sperm donor, the court ultimately agreed that a turkey baster was not considered medical technology. The child's father was awarded visitation and joint legal custody. An appeals court has recently upheld the ruling. It is unclear at this time if the child's mother will appeal the ruling further.

Raising a child is difficult, and some people would argue that having two parents play an active role in a child's life -- when possible -- can be beneficial. Cases like these are often complex. While having a written agreement in place could potentially ease conflict in the event of a disagreement, an experienced attorney can also help a parent in Mississippi ensure that he or she has a relationship with a child if such an agreement is not in place.

Source: CNN, "Mom loses appeal in turkey baster pregnancy case", Steve Almasy, April 22, 2015

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