A real estate tycoon has been declared the sole parent of his son who was born via a surrogate with his former girlfriend’s donated eggs, following a four-year court battle where he claimed his ex had agreed any male embryos would be just his.
Jordan Schnitzer, the 70-year-old multi-millionaire philanthropist from Oregon, celebrated a legal victory Thursday when an appeals court reversed the 2017 ruling in the case.
Samuel, now five, was created using Schnitzer’s sperm and the egg of his ex-girlfriend Cory Sause, 42, and was carried by a surrogate.
A Multnomah County Circuit judge had ruled that Sause was the legal mother of the child and they both had rights to the child.
Since then, Schnitzer had been embroiled in a bitter parental rights battle with Sause to overturn the decision.
A real estate tycoon has been declared the sole parent of his son who was born via a surrogate with his former girlfriend’s donated eggs, following a four-year court battle where he claimed his ex had agreed any male embryos would be his. Jordan Schnitzer and Cory Sause together
The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Schnitzer Thursday, taking away Sause’s right to have any contact with the child going forward.
Two of the three appeals court judges sided with the father saying Schnitzer was entitled to be declared the ‘sole legal parent.’
They also ruled that the Multnomah County Circuit judge had erred in determining that ‘Sause’s genetic connection’ to the child made her his legal mother.
According to the court filing, Schnitzer had two daughters already 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 fulfil this wish.
Under the agreement, Schnitzer claimed in the documents, any male embryos would be his and female embryos hers.
Sause’s eggs and Schnitzer’s sperm was used in IVF treatment, with all the embryos produced turning out to be male.
Sause with the baby when he was born. She said she has not been able to see him since
Schnitzer then used a surrogate to carry one of the embryos.
The couple’s romance dwindled during the 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 embarked on a custody battle after that to be able to see the infant.
The appeal judges ruled that Sause admitted Schnitzer had made it clear that he wanted to have sole custody of the child.
But she claimed the plan was always for her to be known as the child’s mother and that she would be actively involved in his life.
She accused Schnitzer of stopping her from seeing the boy in retaliation when she broke up with him.
The 70-year-old’s attorney Laurel Hook told Oregon Live Schnitzer is ‘very pleased’ with Thursday’s decision, saying it marks a victory for others having children using Assisted Reproductive Technology.
Jordan Schnitzer, the 70-year-old multi-millionaire philanthropist from Oregon, celebrated a legal victory Thursday when an appeals court reversed the 2017 ruling in the case. The couple together
Sause and Schnitzer. The five-year-old boy was created using 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 any doubt for 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 ruling states that Cory Sause was never a mother. This is in accordance with current Oregon law that egg donors and sperm donors are not mothers and fathers.’
But Sause said she has been left ‘devastated’ by the ‘cruel’ ruling and now has just one final chance to say goodbye to the boy.
‘It just seems so cruel. How broken our system is to allow the creation of a bond and to have it taken away,’ she said.
She said she plans to keep ‘fighting’ to see him and will appeal the case to Oregon Supreme Court.