LOCAL : Genetic Parents in Surrogate Case Get Temporary Custody

From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports

A judge awarded temporary custody of an infant to his genetic parents this morning and trimmed the visiting privileges of the surrogate mother who was hired to bear the child.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert N. Parslow Jr. ordered that the child, called Michael Christian, be turned over to Mark and Crispina Calvert rather than to surrogate mother Anna L. Johnson pending a hearing next month.

Johnson, 29, was paid $10,000 under a contract to bear the child, the product of in vitro fertilization of the Calverts' egg and sperm.

The infant, a 6-pound, 10-ounce boy born eight days ago, has shown signs of the stress of the conflict, said the court-appointed guardian, William Steiner, at an Orange County Superior Court hearing this morning.

Steiner said he believed it would be "in the best interests of the baby . . . to remain with the Calverts."

Parslow also decided today to cut Johnson's visitation rights from daily to twice a week.

He could have placed the infant with Johnson, or in a foster home, pending full resolution of the lawsuit.

The landmark case, with potentially broad impact on the legal concept of parenthood, is the first in which a surrogate mother has claimed a child to whom she is not genetically linked.

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