A woman whose spouse gave birth during their marriage is the legal parent of the child and must pay child support after the couple divorced, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled today.
The state’s high court handed down an opinion today in a case in which a woman challenged her legal obligations to a child born during her marriage to the child’s birth mother.
The state’s Uniform Parentage Act says that a man is presumed to be the natural father of a child if the child’s natural mother was married to him when the child was born. The act, which became law in 2013 at the same time same-sex marriage became legal in Hawaii, says all gender-specific terminology, such as husband, wife, widow and widower, shall be gender-neutral when it comes to rights, benefits and protections to spouses.
The woman had argued that she is not the legal parent of the child because she did not consent to her spouse getting pregnant through artificial insemination.
Three of the five justices said that lack of consent to artificial insemination cannot be used to challenge the presumption of parentage. The remaining two members of the high court, including Chief Justice Mark Reckenwald, said lack of consent to artificial insemination can be used to challenge parentage, but that the woman had not proven that she did not consent.