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Texans fight over custody of twins

A 47-year-old Texas woman and her dream of being a new mother of twins is being shattered by a child custody battle.

The woman is currently fighting the father of her children, a friend who donated his sperm with the promise of co-parenting but who now wants full custody of the children. Their dispute is being heard in Harris County Family Court. The man contends that the woman, who used the eggs of an anonymous donor, served as a surrogate for him. The two once dated several years ago but decided their relationship was more of a friendship than a romance. They shared a desire to be parents, and decided she would stay home and raise their child and he would provide financial support, she said.

When the woman got pregnant through insemination, her friend asked her to move to another state with him and his close friend, she said. Additionally, he asked her to put an agreement that had made in writing, signing an affidavit in which she declared she was not the biological mother of the children but that he was the father.

After giving birth in July at Texas Children's Hospital, the man had a temporary restraining order delivered to her, and he gained temporary custody of the children in court. They now live with the man's friend and romantic partner.

The woman has sued the man and his new partner, alleging they committed fraud, intentionally caused emotional distress and more. Additionally, the woman's attorney said that under Texas law, only a surrogacy agreement between a woman and a married couple is valid.

The two sides are due to square off again in court. The judge hearing the case has the burden of the responsibility of the well-being of two infants. She will have to interpret Texas law, then make a decision that is in the best interest of the children.

Source: Houston Press, "Cindy Close & Marvin McMurrey III: Here's One Weird-Ass Child Custody Case," Craig Malisow, Sept. 19, 2012

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