Friday, April 15, 2011

Could My Children Erase Me Legally ?

I read today in the NY Times of an interesting case before the NYS Courts where a woman, Nina Viola Montepagani, is looking to remove the name of her father, Giuseppe Viola, from her birth certificate or at least the name of the man who was married to her mother when she was born (and therefore legally considered her natural father). Sound like a possible donor insemination case? You might think so but it’s not. But could it have implication for families and individuals conceived via donor insemination?

The case in question in summary involves a woman’s desire to amend her birth certificate to name a man, a Dr. Sebastiano Reali, whom in all likelihood is her biological father and whom left a fortune to an Italian university as he had no existing descendants. This is not to say there is not “evidence” to support her claim or to say the woman is pursuing this goal to only gain access to possibly inheriting the aforementioned fortune. It appears she loved dearly the man that raised her as his own and he loved her. But she wants to correct a fact that she always felt was wrong.

The Court if I am reading the decision correctly said there was not enough evidence to support her claim to move her position forward thus denying her request to remove her father’s name. The implications of the case are interesting. It would seem if there would be enough evidence perhaps a “child” could in the future petition the Courts to remove the name of the man listed as their father on their birth certificates. Thus erasing the legal link to their DI Dad. I am sure there is more to the decision that that but in summary at a high level that is the question.

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