This is a follow-up in logical sequence to the article on this blog:
An Australian man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple has been told by a court that his name must be removed from the child’s birth certificate.
A court in Sydney ruled that the birth mother’s former partner had the right to have her name on the certificate, even though the couple split in 2006.
Expressing sympathy for the father, the judge said he had no contractual right to be registered on the certificate.
The man, who shares parenting, said it was “a very bad day for fathers”.
ABC Australia elaborates:
“I don’t know where I stand with my daughter,” says the man we’ll call Simon for this interview, because we’re not allowed to name him, “because she knows me as her father, as her parent, I’ve had a 10 year relationship with her, [and] I did financially support her.
The mothers were looking for a sperm donor for their child and I was looking for a single lady or a couple to produce a child I would be the father of,” ‘Simon’ explains on 702 ABC Sydney’s Drive program.”We were all anxious to have a child and determined to make it happen,” and when it did happen, “we celebrated the occasion and it was fabulous but after the child was born there was no clear setup as to what contact I was going to have.”
According to ‘Simon’, that lack of explicit agreement led the situation to deteriorate only for it to change further when the two mothers separated and shared care of the child, with the father getting access via Family Court contact orders.
Then came the desire of the mother not on the birth certificate to be included on the document.
“With the current law you can only have two legal parents,” ‘Simon’ notes, so that means the removal of the father from the certificate or, as he points out, “the law would have to be changed to have three legal parents, which has happened in other countries like Canada.
The Daily Telegraph gives personal details:
SHE has his hazel eyes. She has his nose. She has his sensitive personality. She has his sense of style. She has half his DNA. She calls him Daddy.
Yet the District Court judgement this week expunged sperm donor John Williams (not his real name) from his 10-year-old daughter’s birth certificate.
The girl now officially has two mothers – the biological mother and her estranged lesbian partner. But by law she has no father, thanks to the introduction in 2008 of retrospective NSW legislation giving lesbian couples equal parent status.
“It’s terrible. It’s a nightmare. It’s just about killing me,” said Mr Williams, sitting on his daughter’s neatly made bed in his inner-west home yesterday.
He hasn’t seen his little girl since April 14, and he is worried she won’t understand why her father, who has faithfully visited her every fortnight for nine years and paid maintenance all her life, has suddenly disappeared.
“The mothers are now going to make my life difficult.
“They know I have no rights and they can dangle me on a string.
“But I am her biological father. I am 50 per cent of her heritage – not just for my daughter but all subsequent generations.
“In 100 years when they look back at their family tree, it’s all going to stop at this lesbian.”
The lesbian couple have split up, and the non-biological mother has a new partner so Mr Williams says his girl now has three mothers but no dad.
“I don’t care if she’s got two mothers. I don’t care if she’s got four mothers, but she’s entitled to have a father.”
He has five hours every second Saturday and overnight Fathers Day visits. “I never missed one visit. I’m a stable influence on my daughter. But the law’s all in favour of the non-biological lesbian mother,” he said.
He paid $150 a week maintenance all his daughter’s life, and private school fees. He gets all her school reports.
He built her a tree house, took her horseriding and viewed Hannah Montana on TV with her.
He even bought a second house near his daughter’s school so that his 88-year-old mother could see her only granddaughter.
He tried to fit with the restrictive dietary regime demanded by her mothers, with vegan meals every two hours, Chinese herbs, homeopathic salts, kombu seaweed, miso, cashew nut butter, spelt bread and supplements.
But it was never good enough.
“Since that new law came in in 2008, I knew they were planning legal action to have me eliminated,” he said.
“I just hope that one day, maybe when she’s about 15 she’ll want her father and she’ll come to my door and say ‘Daddy I don’t want to live with that mother any more’. And when that day comes I won’t be sending her back.”
No, my friend, that’s what they tell you all around. Yet, reality has proven to be the opposite. Millions of times. Within a year or so, they will have her at the point where she explicitly will declare that she does not want to see you any more at all. And she won’t even write back though you might send her a letter every 6 weeks and send her gifts for her birthday and for Christmas. If you are lucky you’ll get an e-mail asking for money when she is 20. If you are lucky and have a heart attack 15 years from now and you do have her address to let her know, she might write you back, she’s sorry and she wishes you strength for your recovery.
If you are exceptionally lucky you might see your grandchild a couple of times, shortly before you die. If your mother is lucky the girl might write back to say thank you for Christmas gifts, or even visit her once a year. All the while shutting you out as if you were dead.
And the mother and her ex-lover will tell you it’s of course not their fault at all, on the contrary. But what could they do, they surely would not force the girl to visit you against her will.
Read about Parental Alienation Syndrome. To be sure that it’s not your fault. Two thirds to three quarters of fathers lose contact with their children within one to two years after divorce or separation. The family courts do not enforce visitation rights, and fathers almost never get custody. A good impression of the situation in the case of Great Britain provide Fathers-4-Justice here at the campaign Hunger-4-Justice.