Help us change Texas law to defend the rights of single mothers like Cheri Bergeron.

Help us change Texas law to defend the rights of single mothers like Cheri Bergeron.

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Jason Meeker started this petition to State Senator Dawn Buckingham and

Right now, the State of Texas discriminates against single mothers. The case of Cheri Bergeron, who lives in Austin, is a perfect example. (The following information pertains to an actual legal case filed in Travis County, Texas. Cause No: D-1-FM-13-005391.)

In 2014, Cheri Bergeron was separated from her husband, Clay Saunders. They had one daughter together. But sadly, they had also suffered the loss of two other children during their marriage.

Cheri still wanted a family with more children, so she informed her estranged husband that she intended to become pregnant through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and the use of an anonymous sperm donor. He voiced no objection.  She successfully gave birth to her son in 2015. 

She did this while she was still technically married, but legally separated, so Cheri knows beyond any doubt that her estranged husband is definitely not the biological father.  Further, he never had a fatherly role with her son – never living with him and never paying child support.  In fact, her estranged husband was already involved in a committed relationship with another woman for over two and a half years before her son was born!

However, Cheri Bergeron is being forced to defend her son and her rights in court to keep Clay Saunders from gaining paternal rights over her child.

How can this happen? Because in Texas, the law states that a child born during a marriage is the “presumed father” until paternity can be legally confirmed or denied. Even worse, Texas law currently allows a “presumed father” to block a DNA test if certain conditions are met.  These laws date back to the early 1980’s, before the advent of assisted reproduction and IVF.

In other words, Texas law allows a man who is NOT the biological father of a child to claim to be the father.

Attorneys for Saunders claim that Cheri did not have the right to pursue her own independent IVF process because she was still legally married.  This would mean that even though Saunders was in a sexual relationship with another woman, he still had rights to Cheri’s uterus! 

Our court system also demonstrates a visible bias against single mothers.  They like to see two legal parents for a child, even when it doesn’t make sense.  Judges have the power to impose this prejudice on mothers like Cheri and make the choice for her.

Please help us urge elected leaders in Texas to support the rights of single mothers like Cheri Bergeron and to change Texas law to protect the rights of women, who choose to become pregnant on their own using techniques like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).  

Sign this petition to make your voice heard.  Stand up to protect these precious rights for future generations of women.  Do it for your daughter, your granddaughter, and for all the women in your life that you value and love. 

* Your email will only be used to keep you informed and provide updates about Cheri's cause and never be used for marketing purposes.

** Full case information can be located in Travis County Courts under Cause No: D-1-FM-13-005391 at https://www.traviscountytx.gov/district-clerk/online-case-information

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!