Commission, Others Submit Amicus Brief to Court in Support of Intent-Based Parentage for Children Conceived through Assistive Reproductive Technology (“ART”)

On May 24, 2024, the Interbranch Commission joined the PA Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (“Amici”) in filing an amicus brief pursuant to Glover v. Junior, a case before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. In the brief, amici urge the Court to adopt the doctrine of intent-based parentage in the context of a child conceived through assistive reproductive technology (“ART”). Helen E. Casale, Esquire, a former Interbranch Commissioner, was the lead signatory on the brief.

The case involves two women, Nicole Junior and Chanel Glover, who married in 2021 and decided to pursue fertility treatment together in the hopes of starting a family. By all signs, the couple intended to co-parent. Ms. Junior, the non-biological partner, participated extensively in each part of the process. However, as their relationship deteriorated and the couple initiated divorce proceedings, Ms. Glover changed her mind, saying she would not allow Ms. Junior to adopt the child as originally planned.  

In the brief, the Commission and other amici argued not only that there is ample evidence demonstrating that Ms. Junior and Ms. Glover intended to co-parent, but also that the Supreme Court should formally adopt the doctrine of “parentage by intent.” The doctrine focuses on the actions and intentions of the individual seeking to establish parentage, rather than marital status or genetic connection. In so doing, parentage by intent promotes equal application of the law: as the availability of ART continues to expand, the doctrine ensures that families conceived through ART are on an equal footing with families who conceive unassisted.