Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Father' of IVF Baby Loses Legal Fight to See Her

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Father' of IVF Baby Loses Legal Fight to See Her

Article excerpt

A MAN has lost the right to see the test tube baby of his partner after she left him and started another relationship even though he is the legal father.

Judges have ruled that he must wait until the girl is three before he can meet her. She was born a year ago using sperm from an anonymous donor.

The mother and her former partner, both from Merseyside, met in 1988 and were engaged but never married. They were desperate to have children but could not conceive naturally.

In 1998 they signed forms agreeing to IVF treatment, which in the eyes of the law makes him the father even though donor sperm was used.

A year later the mother conceived after a second course of treatment but by this time she had separated from her partner and had a new man in her life.

The first partner tried to discuss the future of the child with the mother who told him that her new man wanted to accept the baby as his own, the Court of Appeal was told. She also insisted that she would not allow him to have anything to do with the child.

Her first partner went to the High Court in Liverpool seeking an order giving him parental responsibility and direct contact with the baby girl. It was conceded that he was the legal father but he was not allowed to visit the child. The Appeal Court has now refused him permission to challenge the ruling, agreeing with the High Court judge that he should not be granted parental responsibility and he should wait until the girl is three before meeting her.

He was also told that the mother's new partner would not be able to apply to adopt the girl without a court hearing at which he could put his objections.

The appeal judges - Family Division President Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Lady Justice Hale and Lady Justice Arden - also ordered that the facts of the case should be reported to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. …

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