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In re C.K.G.

Supreme Court of Tennessee
173 S.W.3d 714 (Tenn. 2005)


Charles G. (defendant) and Cindy C. (plaintiff) were not married, but were in a long-term relationship and decided to have children via in vitro fertilization. Cindy signed an agreement, formalizing her intent to be the mother of any child born as a result of the procedure. Two eggs from an anonymous egg donor were inserted in Cindy’s uterus and fertilized with Charles’s sperm. One of the eggs split, and Cindy gave birth to triplets, C.K.G., C.A.G., and C.L.G. (children). Cindy and Charles’s relationship deteriorated, and Cindy filed a petition with the juvenile court to establish her status as the children’s mother and obtain custody and child support. Charles objected to the petition, arguing that because Cindy had no genetic connection the children, she could not be the children’s legal mother. The juvenile court (1) ruled that Cindy had standing to be the children’s mother, (2) awarded the parties joint custody, and (3) ordered Charles to continue paying child support that had been awarded in a pendente lite order. The court of appeals affirmed. Charles appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Drowota, C.J.)

Dissent (Birch, J.)

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