National Center for Lesbian Rights

Cases & Advocacy

In the Interest of A.E.

Status: Closed

Outcome: Loss

Location: Texas

Jurisdiction + Case Number: Texas Supreme Court

C.W. and M.N. were a married same-sex couple who decided to conceive a child using an anonymous sperm donor. Unfortunately, the couple separated during the pregnancy, but C.W. was present when their baby, A.E. was born, and was involved in A.E.’s care and support until M.N. stopped allowing her to see the baby. The couple had joint baby showers, gave the child a hyphenated last name, and celebrated Mother’s Day together.

Even though Texas recognizes that different-sex spouses who conceive using a sperm donor are parents, the court refused to recognize C.W. as a parent. The Texas Ninth Court of Appeals upheld this ruling despite the clear directive from the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex spouses must be given all the same rights of marriage that are given to different-sex couples.

NCLR, along with Jeff Nobles of Smith Haley Nobles and Nicholas Stepp of Akerman LLP, represented C.W. before the Texas Supreme Court seeking review. Unfortunately, the Texas Supreme Court denied review on September 28, 2018. NCLR asked the Court to reconsider its decision, but the Court denied rehearing on May 3, 2019, leaving the Texas Court of Appeals decision in place.

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