A real estate tycoon has been named the sole parent of his son, who was born via surrogate with his former girlfriend’s donated eggs, after a four-year lawsuit alleging his ex had agreed that male embryos would be his only.
Jordan Schnitzer, the 70-year-old multi-millionaire philanthropist from Oregon, celebrated a legal victory on Thursday when an appeals court overturned the 2017 ruling in the case.
Samuel, now five, was created with Schnitzer’s sperm and the egg of his ex-girlfriend Cory Sause, 42, and was carried by a surrogate.
A judge on the Multnomah County Circuit had ruled that Sause was the child’s legal mother and that they both had rights to the child.
Since then, Schnitzer has been embroiled in a bitter battle over parental rights with Sause to overturn the decision.
A real estate tycoon has been named the sole parent of his son, who was born via surrogate mother with his former girlfriend’s donated eggs, after a four-year lawsuit in which he claimed his ex had agreed that any male embryos would belong to him. Jordan Schnitzer and Cory Sause together
The Oregon court of appeals on Thursday ruled in Schnitzer’s favor, depriving Sause of the right to have any future contact with the child.
Two of the three appeals court judges sided with the father, saying Schnitzer had the right to become the “sole legal parent.”
They also ruled that the Multnomah County Circuit judge erred in determining that “Sause’s genetic connection” to the child made her his lawful mother.
According to the court, Schnitzer already had two daughters and wanted to father a son, reported Oregon Live.
When he and Sause started dating in 2014, she donated the eggs to her lover to help him fulfill this wish.
Under the agreement, Schnitzer claimed in the documents, all male embryos would be his and female embryos would be hers.
Sause’s eggs and Schnitzer’s sperm were used in IVF treatment, with all the embryos produced being found to be male.
Sauce with the baby when he was born. She said she hasn’t seen him since then
Schnitzer then used a surrogate to carry one of the embryos.
The couple’s romance waned during pregnancy and they broke up in 2015.
Sause said she was only allowed to see the baby once on the day he was born and then started a custody battle to see the baby.
The appeal judges ruled that Sause admitted that Schnitzer had made it clear that he wanted custody of the child.
But she claimed that she was always meant to be known as the mother of the child and to be actively involved in his life.
She accused Schnitzer of keeping her from seeing the boy in retaliation when she broke up with him.
The lawyer for 70-year-old Laurel Hook told Oregon Live Schnitzer is “very happy” with Thursday’s decision and says it is a victory for others who have children using assisted reproductive technology.
Jordan Schnitzer, the 70-year-old multi-millionaire philanthropist from Oregon, celebrated a legal victory on Thursday when an appeals court overturned the 2017 ruling in the case. The couple together
Sauce and Schnitzer. The five-year-old boy was created with Schnitzer’s sperm and the egg of his ex-girlfriend Cory Sause, 42, and was carried by a surrogate
“Not only does this ruling protect Mr. Schnitzer and his son, but it removes all doubt from the thousands of individuals and couples who have used assisted reproductive technology to fulfill their dreams of having a child,” Hook said.
“The 46-page statement says that Cory Sause was never a mother. This is consistent with current Oregon law that egg and sperm donors are not mothers and fathers.”
But Sause said she was “devastated” by the “cruel” statement and now has only one last chance to say goodbye to the boy.
‘It seems so cruel. How broken is our system to create a bond and have it taken away,” she said.
She said she plans to continue “fighting” to see him and will appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court.