Sunday, December 8, 2013

In re Adoption of Anonymous case brief

In re Adoption of Anonymous case brief summary
345 N.Y.S.2d 430 (1973)

Petitioner spouse sought to adopt objectant ex-husband's child born of artificial insemination donor (AID). The ex-husband objected to the adoption; however the spouse argued that the ex-husband was not the child's "parent" as set forth in N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 111, and therefore his consent was not required.

A child was born to the ex-husband and his wife after AID. Subsequently the couple divorced and the divorce decree declared that the child was the daughter of the couple, and granted the wife child support and the ex-husband visitation rights, which he faithfully exercised. The wife re-married and the spouse brought a petition to adopt the child. Under § 111 the consent of both parents was required for such an adoption. The ex-husband refused to grant his consent, and the spouse argued that because the child was the product of AID, the ex-husband's consent was not required, as he was not the child's "parent".


  • The court dismissed the spouse's adoption petition, holding that: 
  • 1) New York had a strong policy in favor of legitimacy; 
  • 2) it was absurd to declare a child illegitimate who was born during a valid marriage as a result of consensual AID because the parents were unable to conceive; therefore, 
  • 3) the child was legitimate, the ex-husband was the "parent" of the child pursuant to § 111, and his consent was required to adopt the minor child.

The court dismissed the spouse's petition for adoption of the ex-husband's minor child.

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