Due to complications with the pregnancy, Cindy took an early leave from her job. In fact, Cindy even sought assurance from Charles that she would not have to rear them by herself. In Johnson, a married couple was unable to have children naturally because the wife had undergone a hysterectomy, yet the wife could still produce eggs. The couple entered into a surrogacy agreement with a third-party female who agreed to give birth to a child on their behalf in exchange for ,000 and other consideration. Therefore, in resolving this case we focus closely on its particular facts.
This document was signed by Cindy as “wife” and by Charles as “husband” and was witnessed and signed by a physician who represented that he had fully explained the procedure to Charles and Cindy and had answered all their questions. First, if the male and female genetic providers have not waived parental rights, they must be declared the legal parents. On this basis, the court held that the married couple, as the child's genetic progenitors, were the legal parents. We thus vacate the adoption of the intent test of Johnson by the courts below.4.Having decided to have a child, Charles and Cindy pursued in vitro fertilization through the Nashville Fertility Center. Consequently, neither California's intent test nor Ohio's genetic test is strictly apposite to our statutory scheme. However, the genetic test of Belsito also has significantly broad implications.On May 2, 2000, they jointly executed several agreements with the Fertility Center. Further, both the intent test and the genetic test suffer from inadequacies. According to Belsito, the intent formulation of Johnson has “discarded both genetics and birth as the primary means of identifying the natural maternal parent,” Belsito, 644 N. In the event that a dispute were to arise between an intended mother who had obtained eggs from a third-party donor and a gestational surrogate in whom the eggs had been implanted, the genetic test would implicitly invalidate any surrogacy agreement.Although Charles and Cindy were unmarried, they did not alter the boilerplate language that the Center frequently used in its agreements describing them as “husband” and “wife.” Included among these agreements was a “RECIPIENT CONSENT FOR DONATION OF OOCYTES BY ANONYMOUS DONOR” (“Recipient Consent”) which describes the fertilization procedure and its risks, waives the right of Charles and Cindy to know the egg donor's identity, and outlines the responsibilities of the parties to the agreement. For example, in Johnson the California Supreme Court crafted an unnecessarily broad rule which could afford maternal status even to a woman who failed to qualify under either of California's two statutory bases for maternity. E.2d at 764, and provides for, “in effect, a private adoption process that is readily subject to all the defects and pressures of such a process,” id. In Tennessee, unlicensed and unregulated adoption is statutorily prohibited and subject to criminal penalties. The genetic test could also have practical effects similar to the “adoption-default model” criticized by In re Marriage of Buzzanca, see 72 Cal.The Recipient Consent further provides as follows: I, Cindy (wife), understand that the child(ren) conceived by this method will not have my genetic material, but will have that of the oocyte [egg] donor and my husband [sic]. § 36-2-302(4) (defining “mother” as “the biological mother of a child born out of wedlock”) and Tenn. § 36-1-102(10) (defining “biological parents” as “the woman and man who physically or genetically conceived the child”) with Cal. Code § 7003(1) (West 1983) (“The parent and child relationship may be established ․ [b]etween a child and the natural mother ․ by proof of her having given birth to the child, or under this part.”), repealed by 1992 Cal. Rptr.2d at 289, in that an intended “mother” who employs techniques for assisted reproduction including egg donation would by default have to submit to government-controlled adoption procedures to attain a secure legal status as “mother.” Policy-wise, the requirement of such regulation may or may not be sound.