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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

18 AUG 2011

Australian sperm donor forced to remove name from child's birth certificate

ChildA District Court in Australia has ordered the removal of a sperm donor's name from the birth certificate of a child born to a lesbian couple.  

The ex-partner of the child's biological mother brought proceedings against the man and the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to have his name replaced with hers on the birth certificate.

The man financially supported the child who was born in 2001 and who considers him as her father. The women split in 2006, although they continued to share parental responsibility along with the man.

The man originally met the women when he responded to a magazine advert placed by the couple who were seeking help to conceive a child.

Although he ruled against the man, Judge Stephen Walmsley expressed sympathy for him.

"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 added: "I have considerable sympathy for [the man] - he has done what he considers has been his very best for the child."

The case has led to calls for the change of law in Australia to move towards the Canadian system which allows three legal parents to be included on birth certificates.

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