A man who fathered a toddler after having an affair with a woman he met through a sperm donation site has been ordered to pay child maintenance.
High Court judge Mr Justice Peter Jackson declared that the man was the child’s biological father and rejected the claims of ‘Mr F’ that the two year-old had in fact been born via artificial insemination. The man, who claims to have fathered 30 children via the site, was also ordered to pay the majority of the £300,000 legal costs incurred in the case, the Telegraph reports.
The man had been registered for several years on the unofficial sperm donation site. The mother, known as Ms M, had been told that she was unlikely to be able to conceive naturally with her husband, who was much older than her and had had a vasectomy. She and her husband met Mr F in a café to discuss an arrangement in March 2010.
Her husband was unhappy with the situation and left but Ms M went ahead.
Ms M’s husband was ‘out of his depth and powerless’, the court heard.
She began an affair with Mr F and became pregnant, according to the Telegraph report. After a termination, the woman became pregnant a second time, and the baby was born in June 2011.
Ms M later received an email from another woman warning her that Mr F used “his donor status to get women into bed”.
The judge said the man had been sexually motivated, and had been “brazenly flouting” the rules of the website, the Mail reports.
‘I accept that Mr F first became involved in licensed donation altruistically and even now, I do not discount a residual element of altruism in his make-up or forget that there are many much-wanted children alive today as a result of his efforts. However, I am clear that in relation to his website activity his mainspring has been to meet his own needs, at least at a sexual level.’
The judge referred to Mr F’s “calculating betrayal of his girlfriends, to whom he made promises that he was no longer engaging in sperm donation, and his unabashed dishonesty in concealing his overall activities from recipients with whom he entered into relationships.”
The amount of child support he will have to pay is yet to be decided. Despite previously fighting the case, Mr F now wanted contact with the child, the judge added.
“Although he has played no part in the child’s life, Mr. F now wishes his name to appear on the birth certificate and would like to have parental responsibility. Ms. M does not agree to that at this stage, but is willing to discuss contact and reconsider in the light of events. If Mr. F wishes to apply for parental responsibility in the future, it is open for him to do so.”
Under English law, unmarried fathers, unlike married ones, do not automatically receive parental responsibility (the rights and privileges associated with being a parent).