a mother had petitioned the court to grant her sole parental responsibility
The mother and her 39 year old former partner were in a committed relationship from 2002 until early 2008 and they lived in together in Queensland. During their relationship, the 39 year old partner gave birth to a daughter, now aged 8, via IVF using a friend’s sperm. The 41 year old mother later gave birth to a daughter, now aged 4, conceived via an anonymous sperm donor.
When they separated each mother took her own biological child but the girls saw the other parent on alternate weekends and school holidays. Almost immediately after their separation the 41 year old mother informed her former partner that she and her 4 year old daughter were moving to NSW for work and family reasons.
The mother had petitioned the court to grant her sole parental responsibility for the four year old girl arguing that the girl was conceived through an anonymous sperm donor and that her partner was not listed as a parent in the child’s birth certificate.
Family Court Justice Paul Cronin disagreed ruling that the women had shared responsibility regardless of the absence of a biological link.
In his decision, Justice Cronin referred to a November 2008 amendment to the Family Law Act which provided that if a woman becomes pregnant through artificial insemination and has a spouse or de facto partner at the time of the conception, then that spouse or partner is considered to be a second parent of the child regardless of biology. The only exception to the application of this law is if the other parent actively objected to his or her partner becoming pregnant.
The court also considered of the fact that the sisters are very close and they both considered the other’s mother as her own mother. The mother and her daughter can only move to NSW when the girl is already five and a half years old, old enough to understand her parents separation and capable of maintaining a relationship with her non-biological mother and sister.
Rowlands, L. (2011, February 16).
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.