The Donor Who Dared To Say Don't

You wouldn't sell or give away your kids, would you? So don't donate your sperm!

Friday, July 20, 2007


A father by any other name is still a father....

The story as it was published in the Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia) expanded on the judgement further:

" out of three judges ruled the toddler should stay in Ireland close to his father. They said a year was a long time in the life of a developing infant to be away from his dad."

Sperm donor wins court fight to keep lesbian couple's infant in Ireland
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Associated Press Writer

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) A man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple won a legal fight Thursday to keep his biological son in Ireland.

The Supreme Court judgment was a first in Ireland, a predominantly Roman Catholic country where the rights of same-sex couples and sperm donors have not been spelled out. Now the couple, wed in a civil union ceremony in England, cannot spend long periods in Australia with their 14-month-old boy as planned, but can only vacation there for up to six weeks.

Another courtroom battle between the man and the couple looms over joint custody of the boy.

Two judges, Justices Susan Denham and Joseph Finnegan, ruled that the toddler's best interests required him to stay in Ireland near his biological father. The third judge, Justice Nial Fennelly, disagreed, arguing no evidence was offered that the boy would be harmed by leaving Ireland.

``The case is utterly unique and unprecedented,'' Fennelly wrote in his dissent, noting that neither the parental rights of sperm donors nor lesbian couples are defined in Irish law.

Neither side has been publicly identified, following Ireland's policy of granting anonymity to family law litigants.

The lesbian couple an Irish woman and an Australian exchanged vows in January 2006, just after same-sex civil unions were legalized in the United Kingdom. The Irish woman was pregnant by the Irish sperm donor, who signed a contract giving him visitation rights.

The boy, born in May 2006, has his biological father's name as his middle name, and the lesbian couple initially granted the man regular visits. But tensions quickly grew, both sides' lawyers agreed.

The couple restricted the man's access to the boy, then announced they planned to go to Australia for up to a year. The man filed two lawsuits one to restrict the trip and another seeking joint custody. The custody case is to be heard this fall.

Thursday's verdict upheld a judgment by High Court Justice Henry Abbott, who ruled the lesbian couple could take the boy to Australia for six weeks. The Supreme Court held that until the custody claim is considered, the boy should travel outside Ireland for only a limited period.

(Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Michael - Can you post the actual link to the article? Thanks, Eric
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