A while back, Robert Preston Boardwine of Virginia gave his friend, Rosemary Bruce, some of his sperm. Bruce then artificially inseminated herself using a turkey baster filled with the sperm. Now he wants to share custody of his son.
According to the Daily Mail, Boardwine was initially not sure that he wanted to participate in the donation of his sperm, but eventually decided to go ahead.
Apparently it took several tries, but back in 2010, Bruce successfully impregnated herself using Boardwine’s sperm. The only problem was that she then refused to allow Boardwine to be involved in the baby’s life.
— UPI.com (@UPI) April 22, 2015
The couple didn’t get around to any form of signed agreement on the terms of Boardwine’s involvement in the child’s life as his biological father.
After the child was born, Bruce intended on raising him alone and the couple had an argument about the participation Boardwine would have in the child’s life. Bruce, however, didn’t even want Boardwine to have any say in the name of their son. She said that he could only be involved in the boy’s life as a friend.
Fox 59 reports that Boardwine wasn’t happy with this situation and took Bruce to court, demanding the right to be actively involved in his son’s life.
In court, Boardwine said that Bruce had chosen to use the turkey baster method of conception as she believed that with the absence of actual sex, Boardwine would have no parental rights.
Mother loses appeal in turkey baster pregnancy case http://t.co/jijePSbCKU pic.twitter.com/FxDKHByHet
— WXII 12 News (@WXII) April 22, 2015
She argued in court that he has no rights as under the state’s assisted conception law, Boardwine was merely a sperm donor. Only problem was, the law defines “assisted conception” as being a pregnancy resulting from “medical technology,” and a turkey baster is hardly technology of that nature.
Boardwine decided to fight for his rights to be involved in his son’s life and told the court that he “wanted to attend the boy’s sporting events some day, and have a say in major decisions such as which school the boy attends.”
He was successful in his claims and the Virginia Court of Appeals has now ruled that Boardwine is entitled to be involved in his son’s life and that he is more than just a sperm donor.
To confirm the law involved, Judge Stephen R. McCullough made the ruling that the turkey baster, as a kitchen utensil, is not covered by the term “medical technology” and therefore, he has the right to be his son’s life.
The judge said that, “The path to fatherhood may have been unconventional,” but that it does not remove the parental rights of Boardwine as the child’s father and that custody will be shared.
However, apparently Bruce does still have the chance to appeal the finding.
The turkey baster has a multitude of medical uses, as reported on the Inquisitr. It seems back in 2013 a man used the humble kitchen tool to rescue a five-month-old baby who had stopped breathing. Never underestimate the power of a common kitchen utensil, it seems.
[Image: CC BY 2.0 Nisha A]