Parents of sperm donor granted right to see his child
The parents of a sperm donor have been granted the right to see their biological grandchild.
The case involved a same-sex couple and a friend who had agreed to donate his sperm, so they could have a baby.
For the first few years of the child’s life, the donor saw him every week or fortnight without assuming a parental role.
Relations then became strained between the couple and the donor and he didn’t see the child for more than a year.
He applied for a child arrangement order and was granted access to see him seven times a year under the supervision of a guardian.
The guardian indicated that the purpose of the contact was not to treat the donor as a parent, but to give the child some meaningful contact which would help him in understanding his identity.
The guardian proposed that the donor’s parents should also be allowed to attend twice a year for the same reason.
The judge granted contact on those terms.
The child’s parents accepted that the child should have contact with the donor but objected to his parents being involved.
However, the Court of Appeal upheld the judge’s decision.
It ruled that the judge should have set out her reasons for her decision, rather than simply adopting the guardian's reasoning that seeing his donor's parents would give him a greater understanding of his background
However, that did not amount to a serious procedural error because the judgment overall contained enough information to understand why the order was made.
Please contact Paul Owen or Kirsty Bowers if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of family law.