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St. Mary v. Damon
Supreme Court of Nevada
309 P.3d 1027 (2013)
Sha’Kayla St. Mary (plaintiff) and Veronica Damon (defendant) lived together and had a child using sperm donation. Damon provided eggs, and St. Mary carried the child. Damon drafted a co-parenting agreement stating that both would share parental responsibilities and decision-making. St. Mary stayed at home for several months caring for the baby. But after almost a year, St. Mary moved out, and the two disagreed about timesharing. St. Mary signed an affidavit affirming Damon’s status as the child’s biological mother, and Damon petitioned to have her name added on the birth certificate. The court issued an order acknowledging that St. Mary gave birth to the child, but Damon as its biological and legal mother, and added her to the certificate. St. Mary filed another lawsuit to establish custody, visitation, and support. Damon asked for sole custody based on her status established under the previous order. The court granted only third-party visitation for St. Mary and denied her any parental rights. The court found the co-parenting agreement void under Nevada law at the time, which recognized surrogacy agreements only for married couples consisting of a man and a woman. St. Mary appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Saitta, J.)
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