Surrogacy Lawyer Speaks: Michael Jackson Estate

by Tamera H. BennettPosted July 1, 2009

I asked California surrogacy lawyer Stephanie M. Caballero to provide my readers a basic understanding of the  contractual process involved in surrogacy cases and the rights of the surrogates and/or donors and how this relates to Michael Jackson and his children.

In an email reply Ms. Caballero stated:

Gestational carriers in California do not have any custodial or visitation rights to any surrogate child they give birth to because the intent to parent controls in these cases and the Intended Parents, whether they used their own genetic material or a donor egg or sperm, are the only legal and natural parents of that child.

Even if Michael Jackson used a sperm donor to father his youngest child, that sperm donor is not the parent.   Custody would have been relinquished in this case by a judgment of parentage signed by the judge and certified  by the court, allowing Michael Jackson's name to be listed as the only parent, since he was not married at the time.

For the law regarding the lack of parental rights of sperm donors, click here to review California Family Code section 7613.

Ms. Caballero has recently blogged on this topic as well here.

To learn more about the probate process and how that relates to Michael Jackson's estate click here to listen to an audio interview with California probate attorney Jennifer Sawday.