Gatsby v. Gatsby

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF IDAHO Docket No. 47710 LINSAY LORINE GATSBY, ) nka LINSAY LORINE WALLACE, ) ) Boise, December 2020 Term Petitioner-Appellant, ) ) Opinion filed: September 24, 2021 v. ) KYLEE DIANE GATSBY, ) Melanie Gagnepain, Clerk ) Respondent. ) Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Ada County. Gerald F. Schroeder, Senior District Judge. Diane M. Walker, Magistrate Judge. The decision of the district court is affirmed. Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc., Boise, for Appellant. Howard Belodoff argued. Michael Doolittle, PC, Boise, for Respondent. Michael Doolittle argued. _______________________________________________ MOELLER, Justice. We have before us an appeal in a custody case brought by a woman whose same-sex former spouse conceived a child through artificial insemination during their marriage. This appeal asks us to reexamine Idaho law pertaining to artificial insemination, paternity, and parental rights in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644, 647 (2015). The district court affirmed the magistrate court’s ruling that Appellant Linsay Gatsby (“Linsay”) had no parental rights to the child under Idaho’s common law marital presumption of paternity because she conceded that she lacked a biological relationship with the child. The district court also affirmed that Linsay had no parental rights under the Artificial Insemination Act because she did not comply with the statute’s provisions. The district court further ruled that Linsay would have had parental rights if she had filed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity or adopted the child, but she did not do so. Finally, the district court affirmed that Linsay did not have third party 1 standing to seek custody and, in the alternative, that custody or visitation would not be in the child’s best interest if Linsay did have third party standing. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the decision of the district court. I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND Linsay and Kylee Gatsby married in June 2015. They later decided Kylee would attempt to conceive a child through artificial insemination, using semen donated by a mutual friend. They elected to attempt this procedure on their own, without using the services of a physician. Additionally, without consulting an attorney, Linsay, Kylee, and the semen donor signed an artificial insemination agreement Linsay found online, listing the friend as “donor” and both Linsay and Kylee as the “recipient.” The agreement included acknowledgements that the recipient intended to become pregnant and to have rights to the child, and that the donor would not have parental rights or obligations to the child. Linsay performed the insemination procedure on Kylee in their home. After several attempts, Kylee became pregnant. On October 29, 2016, Kylee gave birth to the child. 1 It is undisputed that Kylee is the child’s biological mother. Linsay was present at the birth. The birth certificate worksheet, which Kylee signed, designates Kylee as “mother,” and the word “father” on the form is crossed out and “mother” written by hand in its place …

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