Oral arg. – Miss.S.Ct. – Nov. 29, 2017

At 10:00 Wednesday November 29 the Miss. S. Ct will hear the case of Christine Strickland v Kimberly Jayroe Strickland Day involving a finding of parentage where the couple’s child was conceived with sperm from an unknown donor. 

Christina and Kimberly were in a relationship beginning in 1999.   They adopted a son in 2000  but because of restrictions against adoption by same sex couples. Kimberly was the one who legally adopted E.J.  In 2009 they married in Massachusetts. They then had another child in 2010 by having Kimberly carry a baby  whose father was an anonymous sperm donor (the egg was Kimberly’s).

They eventually split up and filed for divorce.  The trial court held that Christina acted in loco parentis to E.J. and awarded her visitation rights.  With respect to Z.S. the court held that  Z.S. was born during a valid marriage but created a distinction between children born “during” a marriage and children born “of” a marriage and held that Z.S. was born during the marriage, not of the marriage,” “wherein both parties are not considered.” The court held that the anonymous sperm donor constituted “an absent father”, that  he “may never be known, and probably won’t be, [] he is still a father.” This being so, the court concluded, that the donor’s legal parentage precluded a determination that Christina was Z.S.’s legal parent but held that Christina acted in loco parentis to Z.S., and awarded her visitation rights.

Christina appealed and argues that she should have been recognized as the parent of Z.S.

Christine Strickland’s brief

Kimberly Day’s brief

Strickland’s reply brief

(There are also various amicus briefs)

Watch the argument here

 

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