K.M. v. E.G.

37 Cal.4th 130 (2005)


P and D met in October 1992, and they became romantically involved in June 1993. D told P that she planned to adopt a baby as a single mother. D applied for adoption in November 1993. P and D began living together in March 1994 and registered as domestic partners in San Francisco. D visited several fertility clinics in March 1993 to inquire about artificial insemination, and she attempted artificial insemination on 13 occasions from July 1993 through November 1994. P accompanied her to most of these appointments. P testified that she and D planned to raise the child together. D testified that she made it clear that her intention was to become 'a single parent.' Eventually, a Dr. suggested that D use P's ova. D asked P to donate her ova, explaining that she would accept the ova only if P. 'would really be a donor' and D would 'be the mother of any child,' adding that she would not even consider permitting P to adopt the child 'for at least five years until [she] felt the relationship was stable and would endure.' D told P that she 'had seen too many lesbian relationships end quickly, and [she] did not want to be in a custody battle.' P agreed not to disclose to anyone that she was the ova donor, but insisted that she only agreed to provide her ova because she and D had agreed to raise the child together. They selected the sperm donor together. P denied that D had said she wanted to be a single parent and insisted that she would not have donated her ova had she known D intended to be the sole parent. P signed a four-page form on UCSF letterhead entitled 'Consent Form for Ovum Donor (Known).' The form states that P agrees 'to have eggs taken from my ovaries, in order that they may be donated to another woman.' After explaining the medical procedures involved, the form states on the third page: 'It is understood that I waive any right and relinquish any claim to the donated eggs or any pregnancy or offspring that might result from them. I agree that the recipient may regard the donated eggs and any offspring resulting therefrom as her own children.' The following appears on page 4 of the form, above P's signature and the signature of a witness: 'I specifically disclaim and waive any right in or any child that may be conceived as a result of the use of any ovum or egg of mine, and I agree not to attempt to discover the identity of the recipient thereof.' D signed a form entitled 'Consent Form for Ovum Recipient.' P claims she saw the forms 10 minutes before signing and D claims she saw them many days before. The procedure was a success and twins were born on December 7, 1995. The twins' birth certificates listed D as their mother and did not reflect a father's name. Soon after the twins were born, D asked P to marry her, and on Christmas Day. The couple exchanged rings. The relationship between P and D ended in March 2001 and P filed the present action. In September 2001, D and the twins moved to Massachusetts to live with D's mother. The superior court granted the motion to dismiss holding the waiver on the forms signed by P as controlling. It also found P's testimony on the subject of her execution of the ovum donor form was contradictory and not always credible. P's claim to 'presumed' parenthood rests upon her contention that she has met the criteria of Family Code section 7611 (d). The court ruled against her. The Court found that P was not misled by any such conduct; that she knew that D did not intend thereby to confer parental rights upon her. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment because substantial evidence supports the trial court's factual finding that only D intended to bring about the birth of a child whom she intended to raise as her own. This appeal resulted.