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Fla. Sperm Donor Loses Rights Case

August 20, 2002

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SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) _ A man who donated his sperm and fathered twin boys has no parental rights to visit or contact the children, a Florida appeals court has ruled.

Danny Lucas had sued Lori Lamaritata, asking for a larger role in their boys’ lives than was outlined in the sperm donor contract they signed in 1994, which outlined visitation rights.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland said Friday the visitation agreement was ``not enforceable.″

Florida law says sperm and egg donors must ``relinquish all maternal or paternal rights and obligations with respect to the donation or the resulting children,″ the court said.

Experts in adoption and surrogate parent cases said the ruling set a statewide precedent.

``To my knowledge, this is the first case in Florida that upholds the termination of parental rights occurring at the time a donation is made,″ said Susan Stockham, a Sarasota attorney specializing in adoption and surrogacy cases.

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