Sperm donor wins custody of child after two moms split

An Oklahoma mom has lost custody of her child to her sperm donor — after he moved in with her now ex-wife.

Kris Williams told KFOR that she was listed on her son’s birth certificate as one of his two mothers after her then-wife, Rebekah Wilson, gave birth in June 2019.

However, she was not named on an earlier sperm donor agreement Wilson signed and never legally adopted the boy to establish parental rights, as required by Oklahoma law.

The women split when the boy was 2 — and Wilson moved in with her sperm donor, Harlan Vaughn, whom she’d first contacted through Just A Baby, an app for such donations.

In court filings, Wilson said she was co-parenting with Vaughn — who appears to have been a donor to at least 13 other babies, KFOR previously noted.

Kris Williams, Rebekah Wilson and Harlan Vaughn
Kris Williams lost custody of her child to her sperm donor Harlan Vaughn.

On Monday, Oklahoma district Judge Lynne McGuire ruled the sperm donor was the legal parent along with Wilson.

“I guess I’m still in shock,” Williams told the local outlet, maintaining she was still “mom” to the boy, who was not identified.

“Why? Just why?” she asked, saying the ruling “brings a lot of anger and emotion on me.”

Kris Williams and Rebekah Wilson with their child
Williams wasn’t named on an earlier sperm donor agreement as required by Oklahoma law to obtain parental rights on an adopted child.

She also told The 19th how the ruling left her “shaking,” adding “I mean pure terror, as a queer person, to be erased.”

The judge cited how Oklahoma’s Uniform Parentage Act does not take into account same-sex marriage, KFOR noted.

The ruling stated, “Williams admitted she knew that under Oklahoma law she needed to adopt the minor child to establish parental rights.”

But “Williams chose not to adopt,” the ruling said.

Harlan Vaughn
Harlan Vaughn has been a donor to at least 13 other babies, according to KFOR.

“The reality is that the law provides a legal remedy available to Williams. She knowingly chose not to pursue it.”

Williams’ attorney, Robyn Hopkins, plans to appeal what she called “the first kind of case with these facts.”

“Kris is on the birth certificate of this child and [she and Wilson] were married,” Hopkins stressed, meaning the boy was “a child of the marriage.”

“I mean, to me, it’s logical. It’s black and white,” the attorney said, noting it would not have happened to heterosexual couples.

“Show me where the case law says that gay people have to adopt their own children?” Hopkins asked.

Judge Lynne McGuire
Judge McGuire cited that Oklahoma’s Uniform Parentage Act doesn’t take into account same-sex marriage.

Vaughn told KFOR he and Wilson “remain focused exclusively on our child’s protection and well-being. We are grateful for the court’s validation.” Wilson’s attorney declined comment.

The ACLU of Oklahoma said it will step in if the case makes it to the appellate court.

“The concern is if Kris loses, that’s going to set some pretty bad precedent in the state of Oklahoma, and possibly beyond,” ACLU attorney Hanna Roberts added to The 19th.

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