29 Oct 2010 Full Faith and Credit Given to California Parentage Order by New York Court
National Fertility Law Center's Of Counsel firm, Brady Klein Weissman, won a significant ruling in a full faith and credit case last month. In D.P. v. T.R., F-04079-10, a New York State court upheld a California pre-birth order and judgment of paternity for twins conceived through gestational surrogacy.
The court ruled that the U.S. Constitution's full faith and credit clause trumps New York's public policy barring surrogacy. In fact, the court stated that both federal and state law hold that a state's policy is not a valid basis to deny full faith and credit to another state's properly adjudicated judgment.
In the case at hand, a gay couple had twins through gestational surrogacy in California, and obtained a pre-birth order of paternity in 2001. In 2010, the couple became involved in a child support proceeding where one of the men sought to escape support obligations by challenging the validity of the California parentage ruling in light of the New York state anti-surrogacy policy. As noted by NFLC Of Counsel attorney Steven J. Weissman, "This decision gives a good deal of surety, especially to the non-biological father, that his parentage cannot later be challenged because of New York's public policy against surrogacy."