A Miami-Dade circuit judge has approved a private adoption allowing a gay man and a married lesbian couple to all be listed on the birth certificate of their baby girl, The Miami Herald reports.
The three parents – the father, Massimiliano Gerina, and his lesbian friends, Maria Italiano and Cher Filippazzo – had feuded in a paternity case over their 23-month-old daughter Emma for nearly two years, the newspaper reported.
Gerina spends a lot of time with his daughter, but he is not responsible for raising her. That title goes to the two women who turned to him to help them through in vitro fertilization.
"It was a call," Gerina told NBC 6. He called it, "Nature. I wanted to be a father."
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The couple originally looked at Gerina as a donor, but he thought of himself as a father. So, getting all three of their names on their daughter's birth certificate took a lot of time and a lot of lawyers fees.
The court case had occurred after Gerina gave the women his sperm and Italiano conceived, Gerina declined to sign a contract given to him by the women and he pushed to be considered a parent. But a week before trial, Gerina, Italiano, Filippazzo and their attorneys settled the case privately.
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In the state of Florida, donors do not have rights to their children, but fathers do.
"I was very stressed out for two years," Gerina said. "I had no life – money-wise and the stress – it was very draining for me and for the moms too."
Helping him during that time was family attorney Karyn J. Begin.
"I feel that this is really family law as it is in any other case," Begin said. "It may be unique because the parties are a little bit different than the standard family, however it's still family law."
But getting all three names on a birth certificate is not a law. Instead, it's something this family agreed on together: the couple acts as little Emma's parents while Gerina is happy to be her father with plenty of visitation rights.
"It's a great feeling to see this little thing walking around, playing, and smiling at you," Gerina said. "She's beautiful."