In the Matter of W.L. and G.L. (Kansas 2019)
To prove parentage, an unmarried person must first show a presumption of parentage by a preponderance of the evidence. The burden then shifts to the responding parent to rebut the presumption by clear and convincing evidence. This case involves parentage for twins born to same-sex partners using artificial reproduction. The partners never married or entered into any agreement regarding parentage for the children. After the partners separated, the petitioner filed to establish parentage. The district court denied the petition, finding that the respondent rebutted the presumption of paternity. The petitioner appealed. When a child is born to unmarried parents using assisted reproduction, the Kansas statutes specify the procedure for establishing parentage with a written agreement. However, the partners had not followed this procedure, so the petitioner had to argue that a presumption applied. The appellate court upheld the district court’s decision. It found the respondent presented evidence rebutting the presumption that the petitioner held herself out as the children's parent. The evidence showed that the petitioner was not fully committed to being a parent.