How did the US Supreme Court decide that ‘Godparents’ aren’t parents?
The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a man to be allowed to use his own child as a surrogate parent, in what would have been the first legal challenge to the US constitution’s ban on using a human child as an alternative to a biological parent.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his opinion, issued on Wednesday, that the US Constitution does not allow the use of human life to make up the “fundamental rights” of a person’s child.
“This Court has repeatedly recognized that a person has no right to direct the upbringing of a child, to decide the life course of that child, or to direct or interfere with the conduct of the child,” Alito said.
“And so, to say otherwise is to assert an unwarranted and unreasonably restrictive standard of constitutional protection for the child.”
In addition to the use by the surrogate mother of the biological child, the Court said the case raises questions about whether a “parent” has a “right to direct and control” the upbringing or “control” of the surrogate.
A group of six states had sued the US government over its ban on such parents, arguing that it violates the constitutional right to autonomy and autonomy rights for children.
The Court’s ruling on Wednesday comes at a time of heightened debate about the right of parents to use their children as surrogates, including in the case of a surrogate who used a surrogate mother to help raise her son.
Alito said he would review the case further and “may rule in the light most favorable to the state.”
The ruling comes after the US Justice Department argued in April that “parents of biological children” have a “natural right” to use the child, but said the law should not be applied in this case because the child was conceived outside the US.
In the ruling, Alito called the US court’s interpretation of the constitution “irrational and unjustified”.
“It is clear that the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that a parent has no natural right to control the upbringing and upbringing of the children of his or her choice,” Alio wrote.
“Nor do I agree that the decision should be reversed.”
The case was filed by John and Mary McGann, who had sought to adopt their adopted son, Henry, from a US adoptive agency in 2010.
Alito wrote that the McGanns “right was based on a child’s constitutional right of privacy.”
“The right of the parents to control what they choose about the upbringing, and the right to be free from interference with that choice, do not, in the absence of a state law prohibiting parents from controlling what their children do with their own bodies, conflict with the right protected by the first amendment,” Al, wrote.
The McGann family said they would appeal the decision, saying the Supreme Court is wrong about the constitutionality of using human embryos as surrogate parents.
“The United States Constitution does indeed provide that the person or persons in a marriage have no right over the upbringing … of the offspring of that marriage,” the McGans said in a statement.
“However, the Constitution also provides that a child born in a relationship between a parent and the child’s biological parents has the same constitutional right as a child of the opposite parent to be cared for by a parent, if such parent has given the child his or its physical and psychological services.”
A lawyer for the McGanos said the decision “undermines the principle of biological parents being the ultimate custodians of their children”.
“Today’s decision should not have the force of law because it is based on the flawed premise that biological parents have a right to decide what they will do with the offspring, when the child is conceived, and how it is raised,” David R. Rothstein said.
Rothstein, who is also a member of the Alito Court of Appeal, also noted that the case was about “the constitutional rights of parents” to have a say in their children’s upbringing.