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Hodas v. Morin

814 N.E.2d 320 (2004)

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Hodas v. Morin

Massachusetts Supreme Court

814 N.E.2d 320 (2004)

Facts

A husband and wife (the genetic parents) (plaintiffs) were residents of Connecticut. They entered in a gestational-carrier agreement with a woman and her spouse (defendants) who were residents of New York. The parties agreed that the gestational carrier would give birth to the genetic parents’ child in a Massachusetts hospital (defendant), the Massachusetts birth certificate would name the genetic parents as the father and mother, and the agreement would be governed by Massachusetts law. Thereafter, the gestational carrier was successfully implanted with the genetic parents’ fertilized egg and received some prenatal care at the Massachusetts hospital. When the gestational carrier was nearly due to give birth, the genetic parents initiated an action in Massachusetts family court for a prebirth judgment of parentage. The action was uncontested, but the family court dismissed the action based on its belief that the court was not authorized to issue the requested order. Likewise, a justice of the appellate court ordered the Massachusetts hospital not to issue any birth certificate to the gestational carrier. The Supreme Court reviewed the matter on its own motion.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, C.J.)

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