Sperm-donor loses High Court battle to see his six-year-old daughter

Sperm-donor who ‘thought he was entering co-parenting relationship with lesbian couple’ loses High Court battle to see his six-year-old daughter

  • Mrs Justice Theis concluded contact would not meet ‘welfare needs’ of the girl 
  • Biological father had asked for ‘child arrangements’ order to spend time with her
  • Mrs Theis rejected application but allowed him to send letters and photographs 

A sperm donor who said he believed a lesbian couple were looking for a ‘co-parent’ has lost a High Court battle to spend time with his six-year-old daughter.

Mrs Justice Theis concluded contact between the child and her biological father would not meet the ‘welfare needs’ of the girl, whose parents are two women who were in a civil partnership. 

She added the unidentified man has a ‘somewhat blinkered reliance on general rights’ and had been ‘unable to engage’ with the girl’s ‘reality now’.

Mrs Theis outlined her conclusions in a written ruling, published following a private family court hearing in London. 

A sperm donor who said he believed a lesbian couple were looking for a ‘co-parent’ has lost a High Court battle to spend time with his six-year-old daughter. Pictured: The High Court in London

In court documents, the judge explained how the couple had met the man through a website while looking for a sperm donor.

Their daughter was then conceived following artificial insemination using the man’s sperm. 

The parents have since separated, and the girl lives with one of them. 

The man told the court he believed the women had been searching for a ‘co-parent’, but they both disagreed. 

He had spent some time with the child after her birth but the women stopped the visits in 2014 after their relationship with him became ‘more difficult’, the judge said.  

Pictured: Mrs Justice Theis

The biological father asked Mrs Theis to make a ‘child arrangements’ order, which would allow him to spend time with the six-year-old.

The judge rejected the man’s application, concluding the girl’s ‘welfare needs’ would not be met if she spent time with him.     

She said: ‘Whilst I accept the importance and the need for [the girl] to have information about her background and identity, including her genetic identity, that is not a right that exists irrespective of her welfare.’

The judge feared that if the man spent time with the girl, he would want more involvement in her life, and put her ‘current stability’ at risk.

She said his ‘somewhat blinkered reliance on general rights’ meant he had been ‘unable to engage’ with the girl’s ‘reality now’.

Mrs Justice Theis added she was confident that if the girl she wanted to meet the man her legal parents would try to ‘meet that request’.

She said the man could write to the girl and send and see photographs. 

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