Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dad's name stripped from birth certificate

Finally it’s happened. A sperm donor dad’s name has been stripped from the birth certificate in favour of the birth mother’s partner. The Sydney Morning Herald has reported the case, in which the birth mother’s former partner successfully sought to have her name added to the birth certificate, to replace that of the father.
District Court judge Walmsley stated: "I am not persuaded there is any contractual right which can affect this application….As [the biological father] concedes, there was no agreement before [the child's] birth that he would be on the register when he agreed to donate his sperm."
The judge said the man and the child obviously had a strong emotional attachment.
"I have considerable sympathy for [the man] - he has done what he considers has been his very best for the child."
Our laws only recognise two parents for children. Following the lesbian baby boom, political pressure meant that laws were passed in  NSW, ACT, Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland, to presume that the co-mother was the other parent, meaning that the sperm donor father was merely that- a sperm donor. If the case were decided in any of othe other States than NSW,  it is likely that it would be decided the same way.
The case highlights, yet again, that those considering having children via known sperm donors, or being the known donors, should get good legal advice before the child is conceived.
The last word goes to the father: "The laws are totally inadequate, there are no laws to protect people like me. It's a very bad day for fathers, that's all I can say."

Thank you to Anthony O'Brien from Gay Dads Australia -NSW for bringing the case to my attention.

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