Proposed TN bill would deem children born through artificial insemination illegitimate

- A Tennessee state lawmaker has introduced a bill that, if passed, would make children born via artificial insemination illegitimate.

Representative Terry Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) proposed H.B. 1406, which is intended to repeal the current statute regarding children born through artificial insemination.

The existing statute, TCA 68-3-306, provides for a child to be considered the legitimate child of a husband and wife if the child is born through artificial insemination and with the consent of the husband.

It states, "A child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman's husband, is deemed to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife."

Weaver's bill, along with the Senate equivalent (SB 1153) proposed by Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald), would repeal that statute and label the child as illegitimate despite the couple being married and both consenting. 

The proposed bill states that if passed, it "would take effect July 1, 2017 - the public welfare requiring it."

The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that in 2016, Weaver was one of 53 GOP lawmakers in Tennessee who got involved in the divorce of a same-sex couple that dealt with the custody of a child born through artificial insemination.

Weaver and the other lawmakers asserted that the lesbian wife of the child’s mother should not be considered a “legitimate” parent under the current statute.  At the time, there was no Tennessee state law on the books authorizing same-sex marriages, but they were validated by a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

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