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Child of sperm donor ‘would benefit from contact with father’

A teenager who was born following donor fertilisation has been told she must stay in touch with her father and his partner, even though she was does not wish to do so.

The girl, now 14, has been the subject of courtroom battles between her biological mother and father, and their respective partners, since she was just seven, The Guardian reports.

She and her younger sister were both born following donor insemination. They live with their mother and her civil partner in London. Her biological father, meanwhile, is in a civil partnership with a man. Litigation between the sets of couples began as long ago as 2008. The two men sough the right to see the 14 year-old but she was unwilling, and the mothers supported her stance.

The two girls claimed the years of “extraordinary” legal wrangling had affected their childhoods and they blamed the father and his partner entirely for this. The two men have not seen either girl for years.

At a High Court hearing in London, a lawyer representing the teenager sought to persuade the Judge to allow the her to make her own decisions regarding contact.

But Mr Justice Cobb was unpersuaded, declaring it would be in the girl’s best interests to have a “limited” relationship with her father despite her current reluctance.

The Judge expressed respect for the 14 year-old’s “well-developed autonomy and independent thinking” but he still insisted that she would benefit from a “modest relationship with her father and granted him and his civil partner permission to send letters, greetings cards and gifts.

The girls had “promising futures” and well looked after by their mothers, he added. “The significant void in their lives is the lack of any meaningful relationship with their fathers.”

Mr Justice Cobb declared:

“… the fathers have something of real value and importance to add to the lives of the girls.

The judgement is available here.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Andrew says:

    It is worth reading the judgment and the previous judgments which Mr Justice Cobb cites. What shines out is (1) the mean and hateful attitude of the two women, especially M2 who is not the bio-mother, and who tried to prove by DNA that F1 was not the bio-father of the girls, which he was and (2) the dignity of the men who have, in the end, given up their attempts to keep in direct contact with the girls, attempts which the women have successfully and spitefully sabotaged. I have said it before and I will say it again: while actual physical violence is more likely to be male-on-female than any other permutation, all the other nasty things people can do to each other in a relationship are equal opps.

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