In this case two sperm donors who happened to be in a civil partnership together (of over 20 years) made applications to the Court for permission to make substantive applications for contact and residence in relation to their biological children.

The two mothers were each also in their own civil partnerships.  The two mothers had thus conceived via the two sperm donors, three children.  Of these three children, two were young enough to be subject to this current application.

The Court noted the principle in statute (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008) that lesbian couples and their children should be in exactly the same legal position as other types of parents and children.  The Court found however that it could still grant leave to other persons to make applications for Section 8 orders (Children Act 1989).

In these cases, the facts were such that both donors had been allowed to establish relationships with the children.  The Court therefore found denial of permission to them to make applications in relation to those children would be to violate their rights to family and private life under Articles 6 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

As a result, the Court allowed leave to each biological father to apply to the Court for contact to their respective child.  Leave to apply for residence however was not granted, the Court finding that the applicant did not have an arguable case for any form of residence order.

 

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