1. Introduction
2. The Right to Procreate
  2.1 Skinner v. Okla.
  2.2 Wiscon. v. Oakley
  2.3 Involuntary Sterilization
  2.4 Kin Selection
  2.5 Marriage
  2.5.1 Anonymous
  2.5.2 Tompkins v. Tompkins
  2.5.3 Williams v. Williams
  2.6 Transgender Marriage
  2.7 Polygamy
  2.8 Prostitution
  In Brief
3. Who Is My Family?
3.1 Family Identity and the Right to Associate with Kin
  3.2 Marriage and the Paternity Presumption
  3.2.1 Jones v. Trojak
  3.2.2 Michael H. v. Gerald D.
  3.2.3 William "TT" v. Siobhan "HH"
3.3 Paternity Estoppel
3.4 Equitable Parenthood
3.5 Duty to Support
  3.6 The Paramour Statute
  3.7 Maternal Transmission of Citizenship
  In Brief
4. Whose Child Is This?
  4.1 The Surrogate Cases
  4.1.1 Johnson v. Calvert
  4.1.2 Belsito v. Clark
  4.2 Shotgun Weddings
  4.2.1 Fairchild v. Fairchild
  4.2.2 Gard v. Gard
  4.2.3 B. v. S.
  In Brief
5. Shopping For Eggs & Sperm
  5.1 Bad Sperm
  5.2 Cryogenic Orphans & Waifs
  5.2.1 Gifts of Sperm
  5.2.2 Who Is My Father?
  In Brief
6. Sexual Orientation
  6.1 The Right to Practice One’s Sexual Orientation
  6.2 Discriminating on the Basis of Sexual Orientation
6.3 Same-sex Adoption
6.4 Same-sex Marriages
  In Brief

4.1.  The Surrogate Cases

4.1.1. Anna Johnson v. Mark Calvert et al., 851 P.2d 776 (Cal. 1993)


5 Cal. 4th 84; 851 P.2d 776; 1993 Cal. LEXIS 2474; 19 Cal. Rptr. 2d 494; 93 Cal. Daily Op. Service 3739; 93 Daily Journal DAR 6409.


In this case we address several of the legal questions raised by recent advances in reproductive technology. When, pursuant to a surrogacy agreement, a zygote [1] formed of the gametes [2] of a husband and wife is implanted in the uterus of another woman, who carries the resulting fetus to term and gives birth to a child not genetically related to her, who is the child's "natural mother" under California law? Does a determination that the wife is the child's natural mother work a deprivation of the gestating woman's constitutional rights? And is such an agreement barred by any public policy of this state?

We conclude that the husband and wife are the child's natural parents, and that this result does not offend the state or federal Constitution or public policy.


Mark and Crispina Calvert are a married couple who desired to have a child. Crispina was forced to undergo a hysterectomy in 1984. Her ovaries remained capable of producing eggs, however, and the couple eventually considered surrogacy. In 1989 Anna Johnson heard about Crispina's plight from a coworker and offered to serve as a surrogate for the Calverts.

On January 15, 1990, Mark, Crispina, and Anna signed a contract providing that an embryo created by the sperm of Mark and the egg of Crispina would be implanted in Anna and the child born would be taken into Mark and Crispina's home "as their child." Anna agreed she would relinquish "all parental rights" to the child in favor of Mark and Crispina. In return, Mark and Crispina would pay Anna $ 10,000 in a series of installments, the last to be paid six weeks after the child's birth. Mark and Crispina were also to pay for a $ 200,000 life insurance policy on Anna's life.

The zygote was implanted on January 19, 1990. Less than a month later, an ultrasound test confirmed Anna was pregnant.

Unfortunately, relations deteriorated between the two sides. Mark learned that Anna had not disclosed she had suffered several stillbirths and miscarriages. Anna felt Mark and Crispina did not do enough to obtain the required insurance policy. She also felt abandoned during an onset of premature labor in June.

In July 1990, Anna sent Mark and Crispina a letter demanding the balance of the payments due her or else she would refuse to give up the child. The following month, Mark and Crispina responded with a lawsuit, seeking a declaration they were the legal parents of the unborn child. Anna filed her own action to be declared the mother of the child, and the two cases were eventually consolidated. The parties agreed to an independent guardian ad litem for the purposes of the suit.

The child was born on September 19, 1990, and blood samples were obtained from both Anna and the child for analysis. The blood test results excluded Anna as the genetic mother. The parties agreed to a court order providing that the child would remain with Mark and Crispina on a temporary basis with visits by Anna.



The Uniform Parentage Act (the Act) was part of a package of legislation introduced in 1975 ... The legislation's purpose was to eliminate the legal distinction between legitimate and illegitimate children. ...

Passage of the Act clearly was not motivated by the need to resolve surrogacy disputes, which were virtually unknown in 1975. Yet it facially applies to any parentage determination, including the rare case in which a child's maternity is in issue.

... We therefore proceed to analyze the parties' contentions within the Act's framework.

These contentions are readily summarized. Anna, of course, predicates her claim of maternity on the fact that she gave birth to the child. The Calverts contend that Crispina's genetic relationship to the child establishes that she is his mother. ...

We turn to those few provisions of the Act directly addressing the determination of maternity. "Any interested party," presumably including a genetic mother, "may bring an action to determine the existence . . . of a mother and child relationship." (Civ. Code, § 7015.) Civil Code section 7003 provides, in relevant part, that between a child and the natural mother a parent and child relationship "may be established by proof of her having given birth to the child, or under [the Act]." (Civ. Code, § 7003, subd. (1), italics added.) Apart from Civil Code section 7003, the Act sets forth no specific means by which a natural mother can establish a parent and child relationship. However, it declares that, insofar as practicable, provisions applicable to the father and child relationship apply in an action to determine the existence or nonexistence of a mother and child relationship. (Civ. Code, § 7015.) Thus, it is appropriate to examine those provisions as well. [A man may demonstrate that he is the natural father through genetic markers identified in blood testing.] ...

[W]e are left with the undisputed evidence that Anna, not Crispina, gave birth to the child and that Crispina, not Anna, is genetically related to him. Both women thus have adduced evidence of a mother and child relationship as contemplated by the Act. (Civ. Code, § 7003, subd. (1), 7004, subd. (a), 7015; Evid. Code, § 621, 892.) Yet for any child California law recognizes only one natural mother, despite advances in reproductive technology rendering a different outcome biologically possible. [3]

... We see no clear legislative preference in Civil Code section 7003 as between blood testing evidence and proof of having given birth. ...

Because two women each have presented acceptable proof of maternity, we do not believe this case can be decided without enquiring into the parties' intentions as manifested in the surrogacy agreement. Mark and Crispina are a couple who desired to have a child of their own genes but are physically unable to do so without the help of reproductive technology. They affirmatively intended the birth of the child, and took the steps necessary to effect in vitro fertilization. But for their acted-on intention, the child would not exist. Anna agreed to facilitate the procreation of Mark's and Crispina's child. The parties' aim was to bring Mark's and Crispina's child into the world, not for Mark and Crispina to donate a zygote to Anna. Crispina from the outset intended to be the child's mother. Although the gestative function Anna performed was necessary to bring about the child's birth, it is safe to say that Anna would not have been given the opportunity to gestate or deliver the child had she, prior to implantation of the zygote, manifested her own intent to be the child's mother. No reason appears why Anna's later change of heart should vitiate the determination that Crispina is the child's natural mother.

We conclude that although the Act recognizes both genetic consanguinity and giving birth as means of establishing a mother and child relationship, when the two means do not coincide in one woman, she who intended to procreate the child--that is, she who intended to bring about the birth of a child that she intended to raise as her own--is the natural mother under California law. [4]

Our conclusion finds support in the writings of several legal commentators. (See Hill, What Does It Mean to Be a "Parent"? The Claims of Biology as the Basis for Parental Rights, supra, 66 N.Y.U. L.Rev. 353; Shultz, Reproductive Technology and Intent-Based Parenthood: An Opportunity for Gender Neutrality (1990) Wis. L.Rev. 297 [Shultz]; Note, Redefining Mother: A Legal Matrix for New Reproductive Technologies (1986) 96 Yale L.J. 187, 197-202 [Note].) Professor Hill, arguing that the genetic relationship per se should not be accorded priority in the determination of the parent-child relationship in the surrogacy context, notes that "while all of the players in the procreative arrangement are necessary in bringing a child into the world, the child would not have been born but for the efforts of the intended parents. . . . [P] . . . [T]he intended parents are the first cause, or the prime movers, of the procreative relationship." (Hill, op. cit. supra, at p. 415, italics in original.)

Similarly, Professor Shultz observes that recent developments in the field of reproductive  technology "dramatically extend affirmative intentionality. . . . Steps can be taken to bring into being a child who would not otherwise have existed." (Shultz, op. cit. supra, p. 309.) "Within the context of artificial reproductive techniques," Professor Shultz argues, "intentions that are voluntarily chosen, deliberate, express and bargained- for ought presumptively to determine legal parenthood." (Id., at p. 323, fn. omitted.)

Another commentator has cogently suggested, in connection with reproductive technology, that "[t]he mental concept of the child is a controlling factor of its creation, and the originators of that concept merit full credit as conceivers. The mental concept must be recognized as independently valuable; it creates expectations in the initiating parents of a child, and it creates expectations in society for adequate performance on the part of the initiators as parents of the child." (Note, op. cit. supra, 96 Yale L.J. at p. 196.)

Moreover, as Professor Shultz recognizes, the interests of children, particularly at the outset of their lives, are "[un]likely to run contrary to those of adults who choose to bring them into being." (Shultz, op. cit. supra, at p. 397.) Thus, "[h]onoring the plans and expectations of adults who will be responsible for a child's welfare is likely to correlate significantly with positive outcomes for parents and children alike." (Ibid.) Under Anna's interpretation of the Act, by contrast, a woman who agreed to gestate a fetus genetically related to the intending parents would, contrary to her expectations, be held to be the child's natural mother, with all the responsibilities that ruling would entail, if the intending mother declined to accept the child after its birth. In what we must hope will be the extremely rare situation in which neither the gestator nor the woman who provided the ovum for fertilization is willing to assume custody of the child after birth, a rule recognizing the intending parents as the child's legal, natural parents should best promote certainty and stability for the child.

In deciding the issue of maternity under the Act we have felt free to take into account the parties' intentions, as expressed in the surrogacy contract, because in our view the agreement is not, on its face, inconsistent with public policy. ...

Finally, Anna and some commentators have expressed concern that surrogacy contracts tend to exploit or dehumanize women, especially women of lower economic status. Anna's objections center around the psychological harm she asserts may result from the gestator's relinquishing the child to whom she has given birth. Some have also cautioned that the practice of surrogacy may encourage society to view children as commodities, subject to trade at their parents' will.

We are all too aware that the proper forum for resolution of this issue is the Legislature, where empirical data, largely lacking from this record, can be studied and rules of general applicability developed. However, in light of our responsibility to decide this case, we have considered as best we can its possible consequences.

We are unpersuaded that gestational surrogacy arrangements are so likely to cause the untoward results Anna cites as to demand their invalidation on public policy grounds. Although common sense suggests that women of lesser means serve as surrogate mothers more often than do wealthy women, there has been no proof that surrogacy contracts exploit poor women to any greater degree than economic necessity in general exploits them by inducing them to accept lower-paid or otherwise undesirable employment. We are likewise unpersuaded by the claim that surrogacy will foster the attitude that children are mere commodities; no evidence is offered to support it. ...

The argument that a woman cannot knowingly and intelligently agree to gestate and deliver a baby for intending parents carries overtones of the reasoning that for centuries prevented women from attaining equal economic rights and professional status under the law. To resurrect this view is both to foreclose a personal and economic choice on the part of the surrogate mother, and to deny intending parents what may be their only means of procreating a child of their own genes. Certainly in the present case it cannot seriously be argued that Anna, a licensed vocational nurse who had done well in school and who had previously borne a child, lacked the intellectual wherewithal or life experience necessary to make an informed decision to enter into the surrogacy contract.


When a woman who wants to have a child provides her fertilized ovum to another woman who carries it through pregnancy and gives birth to a child, who is the child's legal mother? Unlike the majority, I do not agree that the determinative consideration should be the intent to have the child that originated with the woman who contributed the ovum. In my view, the woman who provided the fertilized ovum and the woman who gave birth to the child both have substantial claims to legal motherhood. Pregnancy entails a unique commitment, both psychological and emotional, to an unborn child. No less substantial, however, is the contribution of the woman from whose egg the child developed and without whose desire the child would not exist. ...

Surrogacy proponents generally contend that gestational surrogacy, like the other reproductive technologies that extend the ability to procreate to persons who might not otherwise be able to have children, enhances "individual freedom, fulfillment and responsibility." (Shultz, Reproductive Technology, supra, 1990 Wis.L.Rev. 297, 303.)  Under this view, women capable of bearing children should be allowed to freely agree to be paid to do so by infertile couples desiring to form a family. (Shalev, Birth Power: The Case for Surrogacy, supra, at p. 145 [arguing for a "free market in reproduction" in which the "reproducing woman" operates as an "autonomous moral and economic agent"]; see also Posner, Economic Analysis of Law (3d ed. 1986) p. 139; Landes & Posner, The Economics of the Baby Shortage (1978) 7 J. Legal Stud. 323 [proposing a "market in babies"].) The "surrogate mother" is expected "to weigh the prospective investment in her birthing labor" before entering into the arrangement, and, if her "autonomous reproductive decision" is "voluntary," she should be held responsible for it so as "to fulfill the expectations of the other parties . . .." (Shalev, Birth Power: The Case for Surrogacy, supra, at p. 96.)  ...

Surrogacy critics, however, maintain that the payment of money for the gestation and relinquishment of a child threatens the economic exploitation of poor women who may be induced to engage in commercial surrogacy arrangements out of financial need. (Capron & Radin, Choosing Family Law Over Contract Law as a Paradigm for Surrogate Motherhood, in Surrogate Motherhood, supra, p. 62.) Some fear the development of a "breeder" class of poor women who will be regularly employed to bear children for the economically advantaged. (See Women and Children Used in Systems of Surrogacy: Position Statement of the Institute on Women and Technology, in Surrogate Motherhood, supra, at p. 322; and Corea, Junk Liberty, testimony before Cal. Assem. Judiciary Com., April 5, 1988, in Surrogate Motherhood, supra, at pp. 325, 335.) Others suggest that women who enter into surrogacy arrangements may underestimate the psychological impact of relinquishing a child they have nurtured in their bodies for nine months. (See Macklin, Artificial Means of Reproduction and Our Understanding of the Family, supra, 21 Hastings Center Rep. 5, 10.)

Gestational surrogacy is also said to be "dehumanizing" (Capron & Radin, Choosing Family Law Over Contract Law as a Paradigm for Surrogate Motherhood, in Surrogate Motherhood, supra, at p. 62) and to "commodify" women and children by treating the female reproductive capacity and the children born of gestational surrogacy arrangements as products that can be bought and sold (Radin, Market-Inalienability (1987) 100 Harv.L.Rev. 1849, 1930-1932). The commodification of women and children, it is feared, will reinforce oppressive gender stereotypes and threaten the well-being of all children. (Medical Technology, supra, 103 Harv.L.Rev. 1519, 1550; Annas, Fairy Tales Surrogate Mothers Tell, in Surrogate Motherhood, supra, p. 50.) Some critics foresee promotion of an ever-expanding "business of surrogacy brokerage." (E.g., Goodwin, Determination of Legal Parentage, supra, 26 Fam.L.Q. at p. 283.)

Whether surrogacy contracts are viewed as personal service agreements or agreements for the sale of the child born as the result of the agreement, commentators critical of contractual surrogacy view these contracts as contrary to public policy and thus not enforceable. (Radin, Market- Inalienability, supra, 100 Harv.L.Rev. at p. 1924, fn. 261; Capron & Radin, Choosing Family Law Over Contract Law as a Paradigm for Surrogate Motherhood, supra, in Surrogate Motherhood, at pp. 62-63; see also Krimmel, Can Surrogate Parenting Be Stopped? An Inspection of the Constitutional and Pragmatic Aspects of Outlawing Surrogate Mother Arrangements (1992) 27 Val.U.L.Rev. 1, 4-5.) ...


The debate over whom the law should recognize as the legal mother of a child born of a gestational surrogacy arrangement prompted the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to propose the Uniform Status of Children of Assisted Conception Act. (9B West's U. Laws Ann. (1992 Supp.) Uniform Status of Children of Assisted Conception Act (1988 Act) pp. 122-137 [hereafter also USCACA].) This model legislation addresses many of the concerns discussed above.

In its key components, the proposed legislation provides that "a woman who gives birth to a child is the child's mother" (USCACA, § 2) unless a court has approved a surrogacy agreement before conception (USCACA, § 5, 6). In the absence of such court approval, any surrogacy agreement would be void. (USCACA, § 5, subd. (b).) If, however, the arrangement for gestational surrogacy has court approval, "the intended parents are the parents of the child." (USCACA, § 8, subd. (a)(1).)  ...


... Ultimately, however, I cannot agree that "intent" is the appropriate test for resolving this case.

The majority offers four arguments in support of its conclusion to rely on the intent of the genetic mother as the exclusive determinant for deciding who is the natural mother of a child born of gestational surrogacy. Careful examination, however, demonstrates that none of the arguments mandates the majority's conclusion.

The first argument that the majority uses in support of its conclusion that the intent of the genetic mother to bear a child should be dispositive of the question of motherhood is "but-for" causation. Specifically, the majority relies on a commentator who writes that in a gestational surrogacy arrangement, " 'the child would not have been born but for the efforts of the intended parents." (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 94, quoting Hill, What Does It Mean to Be a "Parent"? The Claims of Biology as the Basis for Parental Rights (1991) 66 N.Y.U. L.Rev. 353, 415, original italics omitted, italics added.)

The majority's resort to "but-for" causation is curious. The concept of "but-for" causation is a "test used in determining tort liability . . .." (Black's Law Dict. (6th ed. 1990) p. 200.) In California, the test for causation is whether the conduct was a "substantial factor" in bringing about the event. ( Mitchell v. Gonzales (1991) 54 Cal.3d 1041, 1049, 1054, 1056 [1 Cal.Rptr.2d 913] [disapproving "but-for" jury instruction in tort cases].) Neither test for causation assists the majority, as I shall discuss.

The proposition that a woman who gives birth to a child after carrying it for nine months is a "substantial factor" in the child's birth cannot reasonably be debated. Nor can it reasonably be questioned that "but for" the gestational mother, there would not be a child. Thus, the majority's reliance on principles of causation is misplaced. Neither the "but for" nor the "substantial factor" test of causation provides any basis for preferring the genetic mother's intent as the determinative factor in gestational surrogacy cases: Both the genetic and the gestational mothers are indispensable to the birth of a child in a gestational surrogacy arrangement.

Behind the majority's reliance on "but-for" causation as justification for its intent test is a second, closely related argument. The majority draws its second rationale from a student note: " 'The mental concept of the child is a controlling factor of its creation, and the originators of that concept merit full credit as conceivers.' " (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 94, quoting Note, Redefining Mother: A Legal Matrix for New Reproductive Technologies (1986) 96 Yale L.J. 187, 196.)

The "originators of the concept" rationale seems comfortingly familiar. The reason it seems familiar, however, is that it is a rationale that is frequently advanced as justifying the law's protection of intellectual property. As stated by one author, "an idea belongs to its creator because the idea is a manifestation of the creator's personality or self." (Hughes, The Philosophy of Intellectual Property (1988) 77 Geo. L.J. 287, 330.) Thus, it may be argued, just as a song or invention is protected as the property of the "originator of the concept," so too a child should be regarded as belonging to the originator of the concept of the child, the genetic mother.

The problem with this argument, of course, is that children are not property. Unlike songs or inventions, rights in children cannot be sold for consideration, or made freely available to the general public. Our most fundamental notions of personhood tell us it is inappropriate to treat children as property. Although the law may justly recognize that the originator of a concept has certain property rights in that concept, the originator of the concept of a child can have no such rights, because children cannot be owned as property. Accordingly, I cannot endorse the majority's "originators of the concept" or intellectual property rationale for employing intent to break the "tie" between the genetic mother and the gestational mother of the child.

Next, the majority offers as its third rationale the notion that bargained-for expectations support its conclusion regarding the dispositive significance of the genetic mother's intent. Specifically, the majority states that " 'intentions that are voluntarily chosen, deliberate, express and bargained-for ought presumptively to determine legal parenthood.' " (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 94, quoting Schultz, Reproductive Technology, supra, 1990 Wis. L.Rev. at p. 323.)

It is commonplace that, in real or personal property transactions governed by contracts, "intentions that are voluntarily chosen, deliberate, express and  bargained-for" ought presumptively to be enforced and, when one party seeks to escape performance, the court may order specific performance. (See, e.g., § 3384 et seq.; 11 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Law (9th ed. 1990) Equity, § 21, p. 698.) But the courts will not compel performance of all contract obligations. For instance, even when a party to a contract for personal services (such as employment) has wilfully breached the contract, the courts will not order specific enforcement of an obligation to perform that personal service. (§ 3390; see 11 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Law, supra, Equity, § 59, p. 736.) The unsuitability of applying the notion that, because contract intentions are "voluntarily chosen, deliberate, express and bargained-for," their performance ought to be compelled by the courts is even more clear when the concept of specific performance is used to determine the course of the life of a child. Just as children are not the intellectual property of their parents, neither are they the personal property of anyone, and heir delivery cannot be ordered as a contract remedy on the same terms that a court would, for example, order a breaching party to deliver a truckload of nuts and bolts. ...

I shall discuss two additional considerations, not noted by the majority, that in my view also weigh against utilizing the intent of the genetic mother as the sole determinant of the result in this case and others like it.

First, in making the intent of the genetic mother who wants to have a child the dispositive factor, the majority renders a certain result preordained and inflexible in every such case: as between an intending genetic mother and a gestational mother, the genetic mother will, under the majority's analysis, always prevail. The majority recognizes no meaningful contribution by a woman who agrees to carry a fetus to term for the genetic mother beyond that of mere employment to perform a specified biological function.

The majority's approach entirely devalues the substantial claims of motherhood by a gestational mother such as Anna. True, a woman who enters into a surrogacy arrangement intending to raise the child has by her intent manifested an assumption of parental responsibility in addition to her biological contribution of providing the genetic material. (See Adoption of Kelsey S., supra, 1 Cal.4th at pp. 838, 849.) But the gestational mother's biological contribution of carrying a child for nine months and giving birth is likewise an assumption of parental responsibility. (See Dolgin, Just a Gene:  Judicial Assumptions About Parenthood (1993) 40 UCLA L.Rev. 637, 659.) A pregnant woman's commitment to the unborn child she carries is not just physical; it is psychological and emotional as well. The United States Supreme Court made a closely related point in Lehr v. Robertson (1983) 463 U.S. 248 [77 L.Ed.2d 614, 103 S.Ct. 2985], explaining that a father's assertion of parental rights depended on his having assumed responsibility for the child after its birth, whereas a mother's "parental relationship is clear" because she "carries and bears the child." ( at p. 260, fn. 16 [ 77 L.Ed.2d at p. 626], quoting Caban v. Mohammed (1979) 441 U.S. 380, 397 [60 L.Ed.2d 297, 310, 99 S.Ct. 1760] (dis. opn. of Stewart, J.).)   This court too has acknowledged that a pregnant woman and her unborn child comprise a "unique physical unit" and that the welfare of each is "intertwined and inseparable." ( Burgess v. Superior Court (1992) 2 Cal.4th 1064, 1080 [9 Cal.Rptr.2d 615, 831 P.2d 1197].) Indeed, a fetus would never develop into a living child absent its nurturing by the pregnant woman. (See Tribe, American Constitutional Law (2d ed. 1988) at p. 1357, citing Law, Rethinking Sex and the Constitution (1984) 132 U.Pa.L.Rev. 955, 1023.) A pregnant woman intending to bring a child into the world is more than a mere container or breeding animal; she is a conscious agent of creation no less than the genetic mother, and her humanity is implicated on a deep level. Her role should not be devalued.

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[1] An organism produced by the union of two gametes. (McGraw-Hill Dict. of Scientific and Technical Terms (4th ed. 1989) p. 783.)

[2] A cell that participates in fertilization and development of a new organism, also known as a germ cell or sex cell. (McGraw-Hill Dict. of Scientific and Technical Terms, supra, p. 2087.)

[3] We decline to accept the contention of amicus curiae the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that we should find the child has two mothers. Even though rising divorce rates have made multiple parent arrangements common in our society, we see no compelling reason to recognize such a situation here. The Calverts are the genetic and intending parents of their son and have provided him, by all accounts, with a stable, intact, and nurturing home. To recognize parental rights in a third party with whom the Calvert family has had little contact since shortly after the child's birth would diminish Crispina's role as mother.

[4] Thus, under our analysis, in a true "egg donation" situation, where a woman gestates and gives birth to a child formed from the egg of another woman with the intent to raise the child as her own, the birth mother is the natural mother under California law.

The dissent would decide parentage based on the best interests of the child. Such an approach raises the repugnant specter of governmental interference in matters implicating our most fundamental notions of privacy, and confuses concepts of parentage and custody. Logically, the determination of parentage must precede, and should not be dictated by, eventual custody decisions. The implicit assumption of the dissent is that a recognition of the genetic intending mother as the natural mother may sometimes harm the child. This assumption overlooks California's dependency laws, which are designed to protect all children irrespective of the manner of birth or conception. Moreover, the best interests standard poorly serves the child in the present situation: it fosters instability during litigation and, if applied to recognize the gestator as the natural mother, results in a split of custody between the natural father and the gestator, an outcome not likely to benefit the child. Further, it may be argued that, by voluntarily contracting away any rights to the child, the gestator has, in effect, conceded the best interests of the child are not with her.