Debbie Rowe vs the Jacksons: When surrogacy collides with “equitable paternity” in custody disputes

Can Debbie Rowe seriously challenge the Jacksons for custody of Paris Jackson and Prince Jackson? And if so, and she wins, could the courts conceivably throw in Blanket into her guardianship on the grounds that it is “in his best interest” not to be separated from his two other siblings?

The Jacksons should not assume that just because Debbie Rowe was merely a “surrogate” (and this is not even a certainty) that she has relinquished her parental rights and therefore cannot petition the California courts for a modification of the child custody order on the basis of changed circumstances.

And they further should not assume that she would lose this petition or that things could not get so insane that the judge does not order ALL the children to live with Ms. Rowe.

The case is complicated by the fact that it appears that Michael Jackson may not even be the biological father of two of his purported heirs. So therefore the only known “parent” they have is Debbie Rowe.

It is doubtful that even assuming Michael Jackson is not the biological father that he or his family would lose custody of the children on that basis alone. If he were alive, Mr Jackson could not, for example, simple turn those children on the Streets and refuse to support them on the basis that “I am not your biological father.”

In New York, anyway, the courts of equity would stop him from holding himself out as their father, and later, without legally relinquishing his parental rights, (or without those rights being legally terminated by the court) to suddenly decide “I am not your dad.”

In other words, whether his blood runs in their veins or not, the fact is that he held these children out to the world as his children. So one way or another, he is their dad in the eyes of the law. The courts will deem him the “equitable father.”

But what about Ms. Rowe. Did she relinquish her parental rights? It is highly possible that she did. And so, ironically, while she may be their only parent, she technically is just a paid womb or surrogate and has no legal grounds to challenge the Jacksons for custody.

That is in a normal world. This may not be a normal world, however, when so many millions of dollars are concerned and there is a suicidal teenager in the middle of the fray. Even though a parent who relinquishes his or her parental rights cannot normally have those rights reinstated, it is not impossible, Under unusual circumstances, such as the one we have here, that the court of law could say those rights are reinstated in the child’s best interest.

If a child like Paris Jackson is attempting suicide, clearly, her circumstances are not operating in her best interest right now. Her surrogate mother, therefore, with whom she appears to have a “healthy” Relationship, could very well challenge previous court orders and petition for a modification of the order of custody. If she were to win, she would then collect child support from the Jackson estate until Paris is twenty-one or until Paris emancipates herself, whichever happens first. There would be nothing the Jacksons could do to stop this – even if it turns out that Michael is not Paris’ biological father. Moreover, if Debbie were to win custody of the two older children, it is highly probable that the courts would give her Blankett as well because separating him from is two other siblings would be way too emotionally wrenching for the little boy.

It would be pretty ironic if something like that were to happen. Don’t you think?

 

 

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