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Florida Court Rejects Same-Sex Couple's ‘Coparenting Agreement’

Courtroom bench

Rejecting a “coparenting agreement,” a state appeals court has ruled against a woman who sought parental rights for a child born during a same-sex relationship. 

The Pinellas County case involved a child born in 2014 to Nicole Ann Springer, who became pregnant through an intrauterine insemination procedure while in a relationship with Christy Dale Springer, according to the ruling Friday by a panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

The women, who were not married, later separated, and Christy Dale Springer went to court to seek a recognition of parentage and time-sharing.

The women had signed a “coparenting agreement” before the child was born. That agreement referred to the child as “our child” and expressed an intention to “jointly and equally” share parental responsibility.

But the appeals court said the agreement also stated the biological mother would be recognized under law as the only mother of the child. In ruling against Christy Dale Springer, the court said the agreement could not be used to award her parental rights.

“(The) former partner (Christy Dale Springer) seeks to be recognized as a legal parent of the child and to be awarded parental responsibility and time-sharing pursuant to (a section of state law),” said the ruling, written by Judge Morris Silberman and joined by judges Stevan Northcutt and John Badalamenti. “However, a coparenting agreement between a biological parent and a nonparent is not enforceable under Florida law.”