Court of Appeals of Texas, Ninth District, Beaumont
Submitted on September 15, 2016
Appeal from the 418th District Court Montgomery County, Texas
Trial Cause No. 15-07-06902-CV
Kreger, Horton, and Johnson, JJ.
C.W. appeals the trial court's dismissal of her suit
affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR) of the minor
child A.E. We affirm.
initiated the underlying divorce and custody action on July
8, 2015, when she filed her Original Petition for Divorce and
Request for Temporary Orders Hearing, seeking a divorce from
M.N., the Respondent in the underlying suit and the Appellee
in this appeal. C.W. also included a SAPCR as to A.E., a
child born on January 30, 2014. C.W. and M.N., a same-sex
couple, were married in Connecticut in 2011, and separated
before the birth of the child. M.N. is the biological and
birth mother of A.E. who was conceived through assisted
reproduction from an unidentified sperm donor.
filed an answer to C.W.'s petition for divorce and also a
Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction as to the SAPCR.
C.W. filed a response and request for evidentiary hearing and
oral argument as to the motion to dismiss. M.N. filed a
reply, and C.W. filed a sur-reply. The trial court conducted
a hearing on the Motion to Dismiss, during which the court
received testimony and evidence and heard the arguments of
counsel. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court took the
Motion to Dismiss under advisement. The parties presented
additional briefing to the court after the hearing.
October 12, 2015, the trial court entered an Order Granting
the Motion to Dismiss. Following the ruling, C.W. filed a
Request for Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. The
trial court filed its Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
on November 20, 2015. The trial court granted the Motion to
Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction and ruled that C.W. lacks
standing as a parent. The SAPCR was severed from the divorce
action and dismissed for want of jurisdiction. C.W. timely
filed a notice of appeal.
to the hearing on the Motion to Dismiss, C.W. and M.N.
stipulated to the following facts:
• A.E. was born on January 30, 2014.
• A.E. was born during the marriage, but after the
parties had separated.
• There is no gestational agreement or IVF agreement
bearing C.W.'s signature.
• There is no signed acknowledgement of paternity of
A.E. on file with the Bureau of Vital Statistics.
• A.E. was conceived with M.N.'s egg and sperm from
an unidentified donor, and M.N. carried and gave birth to
and M.N. are both female and were married in Connecticut in
2011. C.W. did not adopt A.E., nor did she initiate
proceedings to adopt. C.W. is not a biological or adoptive
parent of A.E., nor is C.W. genetically related to A.E. M.N.
left the marital home prior to giving birth to A.E. M.N.
moved in with M.N. 's mother prior to giving birth to
A.E. A.E. has resided with M.N. since birth. M.N. has
provided for A.E.'s care and needs since birth, and there
are no allegations being made by C.W. that M.N. is unable to
care for A.E., nor does C.W. complain about the care that
M.N. has provided to A.E. There is nothing in the record
before us that indicates M.N. has ever relinquished her
parental rights concerning A.E. Additionally, M.N. has not
sought any child support, reimbursement, or insurance from C.
W. for A.E. in this proceeding.
Court's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
trial court issued Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law,
in which the court made the following findings and
• C.W. and M.N. are both female.
• M.N. left the marital home prior to giving birth to
• M.N. moved in with her mother prior to giving birth to
• C.W. exclusively lives in the marital home and has
lived in the marital home ever since M.N. left prior to the
• C.W. has a girlfriend that stays with her periodically
in the marital home.
• A.E. has resided with M.N. since birth.
• M.N. has provided for A.E. 's care and needs since
• C.W. had some sporadic contact with M.N. and A.E.
following the birth of the child.
• C.W.'s contact with M.N. and A.E. following the
child's birth was not significant, regular, or
• C.W. has not been with the child for any overnight
period of possession since the child's birth.
• C.W. has had possession of A.E. only three times since
A.E.'s birth and never overnight.
• The last time C.W. saw A.E. was in October of 2014.
• C.W. did not financially support M.N. or A.E. after
the birth of the child.
• C.W. has not made efforts or demands to see A.E.
• M.N. provided health insurance for A.E. at her sole
• C.W. and M.N. did not treat A.E. as their child or a
child of their marriage.
• C.W. and M.N. did not hold out to others that A.E. was