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Sperm Donors' Parental Rights Preserved In Virginia Court Ruling

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The Virginia Supreme Court says state law does not always deny parental rights to unmarried sperm donors.

The court ruled in the case of a man from Virginia Beach and his girlfriend, who broke up months after the birth of a daughter who was conceived through in-vitro fertilization. The mother, Beverly Mason stopped allowing William Breit to see the child, even though they had signed papers establishing Breit as the father.

Mason invoked laws that say unmarried sperm donors have no parental rights. A judge agreed with her, but the Virginia Court of Appeals and now the Supreme Court did not and ruled against her.

The justices determined that lawmakers didn't intend to deny parental rights based solely on marital status in cases like this, where the couple lived together and signed legal agreements.

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