The Australian High Court has heard a case concerning the legal parentage of a child born following sperm donation.
Susan Parsons, who gave birth to the child, entered into an informal arrangement with a friend, Robert Masson, to conceive through home insemination. Parsons met Margaret, now her wife, while she was trying to conceive using Masson’s sperm. The Parsons went on to conceive a second child using an American sperm donor, and both children currently live with the couple.
According to the New Zealand Herald, both children refer to Masson as ‘daddy’, and that he only agreed to father a child if he could act as a co-parent.
In 2015, the Parsons applied to court to remove Masson’s name on the first child’s birth certificate and replace it with Margaret’s, which would enable them to move to Parsons’ native New Zealand. Masson then reportedly obtained a travel ban on both children to prevent the family from relocating.
In 2017, a court ruled that Margaret was the intended parent of the second child but that Masson was the father of the first. Under state law in New South Wales, to be considered a legal parent of the child, Margaret and Susan must have been in a ‘de facto’ relationship at the time of conception. However, the court felt that at the time, their relationship was only ‘developing’.Back to News
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