An Australian man who fathered a child with a lesbian couple has started a legal battle to stop the two women moving overseas with their daughter.
The sperm donor has appeared in the High Court of Australia today (16 April).
The man, referred to as Robert Masson in legal documents, argues he should be considered the legal father because he was involved in the child’s life.
State law v. Commonwealth laws
The case comes down to whether or not state law should apply instead of Commonwealth laws.
According to state law, a sperm donor is not a parent. Under Commonwealth law, however, Masson can be considered as a parent as he’s the biological father and is involved in the child’s life.
In 2006, Masson and Susan Parsons – her court pseudonym – agreed to have a child through artificial insemination.
Documents also proved the lesbian couple have parented a second child who is not related to Masson.
Masson, however, has acted as a parent to the baby girl and her younger sister, providing financial support and care. He also appears as the father on the older girl’s birth certificate.
The sperm donor wasn’t in a relationship with the mother
Things started going sour when Parsons and her wife wanted to move to New Zealand, obviously taking their two daughters with them.
The Guardian reports Masson stopped the lesbian couple through the family court as he was found to be a parent.
The judge’s decision was based on the fact Susan and Margaret could not prove they were in a de-facto relationship at the time of insemination.
Nonetheless, the two women appealed the decision. New South Wales state laws ruled Masson as purely a sperm donor as he and Parsons weren’t in a relationship at the time of conception.
The hearing continues.
Author: Stefania Sarrubba
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