Court rules lesbian couple has equal right on child

Thursday, February 17, 2011

SYDNEY - A lesbian mother in Australia has been barred from moving her baby daughter interstate following a court ruling that her ex-partner holds the same rights as other parents, despite no biological link.

The 41-year-old mother had approached the Family Court to grant her sole parental responsibility for the four-year-old girl, conceived via an anonymous sperm donor, noting that her ex-partner was not listed as a parent on the child’s birth certificate, reported Thursday.

But Family Court Justice Paul Cronin disagreed, and ruled that the women “had equal shared responsibility” for the child.

In deciding whether to let the mother relocate the child from Queensland to New South Wales (NSW), Justice Cronin also took into account the girl’s relationship as a sister to the second woman’s eight-year-old daughter.

It was decided that the move would not be in the girl’s best interests until she was old enough to understand and maintain a long-distance relationship with her non-biological mother and sister.

The complex case threw light upon the challenges involved in dealing with separation of homosexual couples who have one or more children with differing biological relationships.

“Much of the judicial history about ‘relocation’ cases has focussed on heterosexual parents where biological connection was clear,” Justice Cronin said in his judgment.

“This case highlights the reality rather than the abstract of a breakdown of a same-sex relationship into which had been born children by artificial conception procedures to two different mothers.”

Filed under: Immigration, World

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