Parents of sperm donor granted contact with their biological grandchild

Posted on March 27, 2018

Children become more inquisitive as they grow up and it is important that they have a real understanding of both their maternal and paternal lineage. The Court of Appeal made that point in finding that a sperm donor's parents had rightly been granted contact rights in respect of their biological grandson.

The four-year-old boy was born to a female gay couple and there was no dispute that they alone were his legal parents. One of them had got to know the sperm donor at work but, regrettably, no specific agreement was reached prior to the boy's birth as to the part the donor would play in his life.

Whilst relations between the couple and the donor remained amicable, he saw the boy regularly. That changed, however, after the couple split up and embarked on new relationships. They continued to co-parent the boy and began to view the donor's presence in his life as burdensome and troubling.

The donor had no contact with the boy for 18 months and, even when contact resumed, his parents, who had also got to know and love the youngster, were excluded. After the donor launched proceedings, a family judge ordered the couple to let their son see him seven times a year, for two hours at a time. Controversially, his grandparents were also granted the right to have contact with him twice a year.

The judge found that the boy had established a lifelong link with his paternal family and that contact with his natural father and grandparents was crucial to sustaining his sense of identity. The boy would benefit from meeting with biological relatives who wished him well and the judge noted the importance of him having an understanding of the big picture of his birth story.

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