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Father wins in vitro case, can establish rights

A father can seek to establish legal parentage of a child conceived through in vitro fertilization, the Supreme Court of Virginia has ruled in L.F. v. Breit.

Virginia Beach lawyer Billy Breit and the mother of his daughter conceived through assisted conception and never married, but they drew up a number of agreements, including an acknowledgement of parenthood for the girl. The couple broke up, but Breit had visitation and was establishing a relationship with the child when the mother broke off all contact in 2010.

He sued to establish parentage; a circuit judge dismissed his case, relying in part on language in Code §§ 20-158(A)(3) that states a sperm donor is not the father of a child unless he is the husband of the gestational mother.” But the Court of Appeals last year reversed that holding, which the high court upheld in their decision Jan. 10.

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