Parents of sperm donor win landmark access case

The parents of a sperm donor have won the right to spend time with their four-year-old biological grandson (file photo)

The parents of a sperm donor have won the right to spend time with their four-year-old biological grandson (file photo)

The parents of a sperm donor have won the right to spend time with their four-year-old biological grandson.

In the first case of its kind, the Court of Appeal ruled that encouraging the boy’s relationship with his paternal family would help him understand the ‘big picture of his birth story’.

The child was born to a lesbian couple, one of whom knew the sperm donor from work, Lord Justice Peter Jackson said.

There was no dispute that he was legally their child and, for the first three years of his life, the father had regular contact with the boy. But after the lesbian couple split and started new relationships – one of them with a man – a dispute over contact developed.

The two women continued to ‘co-parent’ the boy and his father’s presence in his life became ‘burdensome and troubling’ to them.

The father, although not a legal parent, objected after the couple started to ‘impose boundaries’, said the judge.

In the first case of its kind, the Court of Appeal ruled that encouraging the boy’s relationship with his paternal family would help him understand the ‘big picture of his birth story’

In the first case of its kind, the Court of Appeal ruled that encouraging the boy’s relationship with his paternal family would help him understand the ‘big picture of his birth story’

He had no contact with his son for 18 months and when it resumed, his parents – who had also got to know and love their grandson – were excluded.

A family judge intervened in June last year, ordering the couple to let their son see his father seven times a year, for two hours at a time. 

The boy’s grandparents were also given the right to have contact with him twice a year. The judge said the child had ‘a lifelong link’ with his paternal family and contact was vital to sustain his ‘sense of identity’.

As he grew up and became more curious about his lineage, he would need ‘a meaningful understanding’ of his father’s place in his life. Meetings with people who ‘wished him well’ would benefit him and

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