Gay Father of Lesbian Pair's Baby Wins Parent's Rights

By Demetriou, Danielle | The Evening Standard (London, England), March 8, 2002 | Go to article overview
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Gay Father of Lesbian Pair's Baby Wins Parent's Rights


Demetriou, Danielle, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: DANIELLE DEMETRIOU

A GAY MAN who fathered a child for a lesbian couple has been granted parental rights in a landmark ruling.

The 30-year-old social worker was granted full rights and responsibilities as the father of the 18-month-old baby after he agreed to act as a sperm donor for the two women.

In a written judgment at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Sheriff Laura Duncan said the lesbian couple could not constitute a "family unit", which would have meant full parental rights would have been granted to the mother's partner.

It is the first time that a British court has tested the law governing parental rights in the case involving a homosexual man seeking full recognition as father.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was forced to go to court after he fell out with the child's mother, who teaches drama at a Roman Catholic school.

The ruling was welcomed by gay rights activists, who also called for the laws surrounding parental access for homosexual partners to be made more clear.

Tim Hopkins, of the Equality Network in Edinburgh, said: "I welcome that the sheriff has made it clear that in the case of the father, the fact that he is gay doesn't stop him from getting full parental responsibilities.

"The law is quite clear that what matters is the welfare of the child but the law needs to be clarified to protect the relationship between the child and the lesbian partner of a mother.

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