They eventually split up and filed for divorce. The trial court held that Christina acted in loco parentis to E.J. and awarded her visitation rights. With respect to Z.S. the court held that Z.S. was born during a valid marriage but created a distinction between children born “during” a marriage and children born “of” a marriage and held that Z.S. was born during the marriage, not of the marriage,” “wherein both parties are not considered.” The court held that the anonymous sperm donor constituted “an absent father”, that he “may never be known, and probably won’t be,  he is still a father.” This being so, the court concluded, that the donor’s legal parentage precluded a determination that Christina was Z.S.’s legal parent but held that Christina acted in loco parentis to Z.S., and awarded her visitation rights. Christina appealed and argues that she should have been recognized as the parent of Z.S.
The briefs are below. I have predicted for a while this would be the next big issue in family law.
Christine Strickland’s brief
Kimberly Day’s brief
Strickland’s reply brief
(There are also various amicus briefs)
Watch the argument here