Mississippi Supreme Court will decide same sex couples parental rights

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — 44 year old Chris Strickland is asking the Mississippi Supreme Court to give her full parental rights to her 6 year old son.

Strickland and her ex-wife, Kimberly Day, agreed to have the child together but Day conceived the child using in-vitro fertilization. Day is listed as the parent on the child’s birth certificate – Strickland is not.

“It’s tough but I’m glad to be here today,” says Strickland. “And hopefully I’ll have an answer soon and my son and I can move on with our life and just continue to grow.”

Attorney Beth Littrell represents Strickland on behalf of Lambda Legal Counsel. On Wednesday, before the court, she said, “The result of this court’s ruling will impact a significant number of different sex married couples and their families both now and in the future.”

That’s because the case involves married couples that use reproductive technology and anonymous sperm donors to have children.

Prentiss Grant represents Day and addressed the sperm donors parental rights, “We have law established in Mississippi that you have to terminate that persons parental rights in order for someone to step in.”

He continues, “She (Strickland) had the opportunity to do it. She didn’t do it.”

Littrell argues that biology alone does not make you a parent and that both women had agreed to care for the child.

Strickland says, right now, her son doesn’t know what’s going on, “He’s only 6 so maybe someday.”

The Justice’s have until early May to make a decision.

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