Lesbian Pair 'Are Not a Family'; Gay Sperm Donor Wins Father's Rights

By Mclean, Scott | Daily Mail (London), March 8, 2002 | Go to article overview

Lesbian Pair 'Are Not a Family'; Gay Sperm Donor Wins Father's Rights


Mclean, Scott, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: SCOTT MCLEAN

A GAY man has been awarded rights of access to a child he fathered for a lesbian couple.

In a landmark court ruling, the 30-year-old man was granted 'full parental rights and responsibilities' over the 18-month-old baby.

The father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had turned to the courts after the lesbian couple disagreed over his rights of access to the child.

The women argued that the man was only a sperm donor and they asked for legal recognition for the mother's partner.

But in her written, Sheriff Laura Duncan said the lesbian couple did not constitute 'a family unit' in law, which would have given the mother's partner parental rights over the child.

The judgment points to the fact that the man was named as father on the birth certificate and he signed the document.

'He is therefore liable for the support of the child,' the sheriff said.

'The pursuer gave the impression of being a thoughtful individual who considered the long-term implications and issues of what he was about to embark upon.

'I was satisfied that the pursuer did not enter into the arrangement lightly.' The sheriff said the lesbians had 'little sensitivity, regard or recognition for the position or the emotions of the pursuer as father of the defender's child'.

She added that they had tried to manipulate the law to their own ends, and were 'somewhat calculating and devious'.

The ruling was made at Glasgow Sheriff Court and is applicable only under Scottish law, but it is thought to be the first judgment of its kind in a British court.

Sheriff Duncan's unprecedented decision is almost certain to have repercussions in England and Wales in other cases involving surrogate children. …

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