A court in Dublin has ruled in favour of a man who wants to stop a lesbian couple leaving Ireland with their child. The man is the biological father of the 14-month-old baby.
The High Court ruled that the child’s birth mother may not holiday in her home country of Australia with the child and her partner.
The lesbian couple have entered into a civil partnership in the UK and are considering moving to Australia permanently.
Two High Court Justices ruled that the interests of the child are best served by maintaining a relationship with the biological father.
The lesbian couple had reduced the father’s access to the child, despite his desire to be more involved with the baby’s upbringing.
The father’s application for guardianship and joint custody has not yet been considered by the courts and yesterday’s ruling does not presume he has parental rights.
One of the three High Court justices hearing the appeal dissented, saying the only relationship the father has with the child is that of a sperm donor.
However, Mr Justice Fennelly also ruled that the lesbian partner of the birth mother also has no “natural relationship” with the child and that only the birth mother has rights in this case.
“The applicant has not shown, by means of expert or any other evidence, that the welfare of the child will be jeopardised or compromised by his being taken to Australia for the proposed [period] of just short of one year,” Mr Justice Fennelly said, according to ireland.com