September 27, 2022

Donor could be erased from Sydney birth certificate

Imagine this. You are the biological father of nine-year-old daughter, although you are not living with the mother. You have helped to support the mother. You have contributed thousands of dollars to your daughter’s education and upkeep. You have been in contact with her every day of her life.

Imagine this. You are the biological father
of nine-year-old daughter, although you are not living with the mother. You have
helped to support the mother. You have contributed thousands of dollars to your
daughter’s education and upkeep. You have been in contact with her every day of
her life.

And now your name will probably be deleted from
her birth certificate.

This is the issue faced by a Sydney sperm donor.
In 2001 he helped a lesbian couple become pregnant. He was told that he would be
“an uncle figure” in the child’s life and the women even called him “Daddy”.

But the couple split up in 2006. The birth mother
has custody of the girl and her former partner wants clarity in exercising her legal
rights as a parent and has taken him and the NSW
Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to court.  

Under New South Wales law
only two people can be described as parents on a birth certificate. Sperm donors
have no status as parents even if their names have been written on a birth certificate.
On the other hand, retrospective laws introduced in 2008 gave lesbian partners of
women who conceive through artificial insemination legal parenting status.

Now the ex-partner wants
her name placed on the birth certificate and the man’s deleted. She says that this
is
partly because of “confusion with government departments, schools, hospitals and
so on as to who [the child’s] second legal parent is. It would mean so much to me
to have concrete and practical proof of my status as a legal parent… and to not
have to validate who [the child] is in my life and who I am to [the child] even
though I have not given birth to her.”

The sperm donor is distraught. ”She knows me as her father,” he told the court. “She
knows me as her parent. The person who’s going to suffer is my daughter. She knows
that her father is going to be removed from her life. She’s going to have three
mothers and no father and I think the whole thing is an absolute outrage.”

A decision
will be handed down later in the month, but the judge has indicated that the woman
probably has the stronger case. ~ Sydney Morning Herald, Aug 3

Michael Cook
Australia
sperm donation