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Custody battle lesbian couple: ‘We were horribly naive’

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  1. I don’t really understand what they were fighting for.

    The fact they are in a same sex relationship does not negate the fact they have to obey the laws around artificial insemination.

    We cannot get round the fact that anybody in a gay relationship cannot have kids without the help of somebody else.

  2. As a gay dad happily co-parenting with a lesbian couple I have to say that having three parents in the equation is very beneficial and has lots of positive benefits. I can’t really see what they have got to complain about. This is best for the children.

  3. They have a lot to complain about. Joint custody was not part of the original agreement.

  4. In principle, having both biological parents involved in a child’s upbringing can only be a good thing.

    In fact it presents an ideal way for both lesbians and gay men to become parents.

    They just need to show a bit of consideration and common sense in the way they cooperate to bring up the child.

  5. dave wainwright 6 Dec 2010, 12:00pm

    As a middle aged gay man with no children, I should thank their lucky stars if I were them , they have two beautiful children whom they have not lost , they have created something beautiful , children are not possessions to be fought over , they are a gift and only on loan as they will be independent human beings when grown , it wasn’t possible for my partner and I to adopt or conceive with surrogates in our day and is to late for us now , whilst the situation these women are now in may not be their ideal , they are still better off than many , their children are alive and well and loved, surely that is something to celebrate and continue to enjoy ? I suggest they count their blessings and accept the situation and embrace it whole heartedly with LOVE .

  6. Lucio Buffone 6 Dec 2010, 12:21pm

    …. and they sold their story to the Daily Mail! Enough said

  7. Jock S. Trap 6 Dec 2010, 12:21pm

    At what point did this couple think of the childrens interests and not just there own?

    These children have an great opportunity from 3 parents. I would have though that would have been a great example for parenthood.

    My only thought now is, will they allow this ruling to be carried out for the benefit of the children or will bitterness take over?

  8. Sister Mary Clarance 6 Dec 2010, 12:29pm

    “Last week, the Court of Appeal heard that the father had acted as a parent to the children, taking them to doctors’ appointments and paying their school fees.”

    Right I see so it was okay as part of the ‘minimal’ contact to take the children to the doctor and relay back to the ‘real’ parents potentially very important health information about the kids and to bank roll school fees but nothing more.

    Did these two dullards not think that looking after and caring for his off spring when they were sick and overseeing their education might begin to produce stronger bonds than ‘minimal contact’ between father and children

    Sounds to me like the two of them based this whole process on an artificial and contrived little world that neither took into account human nature nor reality.

    I pity the kids of such dumb parents

  9. Sorry, I still don’t get why they didn’t use a sperm donor. Because they wanted their children to have the opportunity to know their father? Yet they didn’t want said father to be involved in any way? It doesn’t make sense. Use a sperm donor then.

    And didn’t the father offer a three-way residency order anyway? How sad that these children, who are old enough to know what’s going on, have seen such dissent and nastiness between their parents.

  10. Paul Brownsey 6 Dec 2010, 1:29pm

    On the basis of the news story, this couple have quite the wrong attitude to their children. They are treating the children as props in their own private picture of themselves (which is what a great many parents do) rather than regarding the children as independent individuals with interests and desires of their own.

    Ricky’s comment that joint custody was not part of the original agreement is, for a similar reason, beside the point. Unlike, say, the family car, children are not private property whose lives are to be wholly settled by agreements between parents.

    The thing that makes me sad in this and in other cases of separated parents is that the children have the upset of switching from house to house, perhaps of switching from school to school, from one set of friends to another.

    I like to imagine a society in which, where parents are separated, there’s a law whereby the children remain in the home and it’s the parents who do all the moving-in, moving-out stuff. Terribly disruptive for the parents, yes, as it can be for the children, but it might encourage them to be a bit more responsible in their attitude to having children.

  11. “They are treating the children as props in their own private picture of themselves (which is what a great many parents do) rather than regarding the children as independent individuals with interests and desires of their own.”

    The children are 7 and 10, hardly independent individuals when they still need the support of parents. I see nothing here about the parents interest, other then the biological father breaking up what is an established and stable family unit for his own aims.

  12. “I see nothing here about the parents interest, other then the biological father breaking up what is an established and stable family unit for his own aims.”

    Agreed. Tragic.

  13. That the women thought it appropriate to peddle their family’s story to the Daily Mail suggests a lot to me about the priorities these women have.

    I don’t think we’ve heard anything about what the children want. But I trust the court will have made a sensible and sensitive judgement.

    Their selfishness has probably caused them to have less time with their children than might have otherwise been the case. They need to grow up and step up to their responsibility of providing a supportive and loving environment WITH the father.

  14. Jock S. Trap 6 Dec 2010, 2:30pm

    I think we have to take into account the power of having your child coming into your life. It may be easy enough to say he wanted nothing to do with raising children but when they’re actually here that’s another thing altogether.

    Too many fathers run away and to be honest I have to give him credit for taking up his responsibilties.

    Its very easy to think how things may be but once you actually see and hold your own child in your arms believe me your not prepared for the hold it takes over you.

    Parental instinct takes over as soon as and it’s one of the best feelings you could Ever have, for the mother AND the father.

  15. ““I see nothing here about the parents interest, other then the biological father breaking up what is an established and stable family unit for his own aims.”

    Rubbish.

    He was not merely a sperm donor. He was already involved in the children’s lives.

    If, as I understand this case, he offered them a 3 way residency order, which the couple refused (preferring to go the court route) then the couple needs to be condemned for their selfish stupidity.

    If a lesbian couple does not want the father to be in the picture they should have opted for an anonymous sperm donor.

    It’s that simple

  16. If a couple can disagree and have horrible disputes and even split, imagine three persons. It was obvious that not written words are only useful to be forgotten. People change. The lesbian couple made a mistake if they wanted to be the sole and main parents involved. Being dumb comes with a heavy debt to pay at once.

  17. “He was not merely a sperm donor. He was already involved in the children’s lives.”

    Really? Involved and taking them for 6 months is not the same. I say your comments on the other thread, and they are hardly unbiased. You compared this situation to divorce, with is utter nonsense. You seem to be airing your own issues rather then seeing this for what it is:- a family unit being broken up for 6 months of the year by a man that who put his own needs above his children…. anyone that thinks this is in the best interest of the children need a lesson in child physiology.

  18. “They need to grow up and step up to their responsibility of providing a supportive and loving environment WITH the father.”

    I am shocked here by the amount of gay people who think that breaking up the children form their parents, whom they have lived with for 10 and 7 years respectively, is a good thing!!!!!! Is there something wrong with you that you can’t see that the involvement of the father is not at issue here, but the removal of the children from their parents! Only one or two people in here acknowledge that, and at least they have sense.

    I am appalled by some of the comments. Seriously, are we advocating biological rights over that of the parents and the children to continue to live in a loving and established family?!?!?!? You sound just like the like Christian lunatics we get in here!!!! Shame on you.

  19. When it comes to cases like this, the rule of thumb is children’s best interests. The court seems to be able to accomplish that. The full decision of this case, T v T [2010] EWCA Civ 1366 (01 December 2010) can be downloaded from http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2010/1366.html

  20. Sister Mary Clarance 6 Dec 2010, 5:25pm

    James, what sort of people are these two who will happily take money off this guy for the education of these children but refuse to allow him any sort of parental rights.

    It must have been patently obvious to these two that the father was building strong bonds with his children and more fool them for trying to break those bonds

    I’m sure the father feels he has a lot to give his children and these two hapless idiots should have found a way to resolve this that wouldn’t end up with them pasted all over the bloody Daily Mail.

    The world is where it is because so many stupid people are knocking out kids. These two need to move to the front of the queue

  21. “James, what sort of people are these two who will happily take money off this guy for the education of these children but refuse to allow him any sort of parental rights.”

    I’m not denying him the right to be involved in their lives, but to take the children from a stable home with two parents home is very wrong, regardless of how successful he was in doing so, when there is no evidence of neglect or maltreatment. Will this be of benefit to the children? I doubt it. Who they sold their story is of no relevance. As for they being “stupid”, I agree they cold have made a better decision on a sperm donor than this man, but there are plenty of straight couples that have the Intelligence quotient of bricks, and they can still knock out children until the cows come home, its no reason to separate them from their children This couple did nothing stupid with regards to their children it seems, and the only stupid thing I can see here is a gay man who thinks it best to separate children from two parents for his own benefit with no regard to how that might, and will, negatively impact on the poor children.

  22. A terrible mess, and I really feel for the children. We know so little in detail about this situation, but
    I think it is clear that some l&g people don’t put enough care and forethought into setting up these situations. This is a life commitment, not going on holiday or setting up a business together (and that’s a biggy!!). A lesbian couple and a gay couple I know have had 2 children together and share all parenting & expenses but knew each other as intimate friends for YEARS before undertaking such a huge project together. This way they came to know each others’ values and expectations in exhaustive detail before taking the plunge. Not even this is infallible (straight marriages certainly aren’t), but I suspect nothing else will do except totally anonymous sperm donation.

  23. Good points, Riono. I can’t for the life of me understand why the lesbian couple in question don’t seem to have thought about what could ‘go wrong’ at all. It’s something I’ve considered, and the very FIRST thing that came into my head was “What if I fall out with the father and he seeks custody?”. This was along with “How much contact should the father have?” “What if he wants to take them on holiday with him?” “What if something happened to me and the biological father sought custody?” “How often should the children see their father and how could that be put into a formal agreement?” “What if our circumstances change – eg one of us moves away?” “What financial obligation – if any – would the father have?” etc etc ETC.

    I don’t believe that none of these things occurred to the lesbian couple. So what changed? I suspect that there’s been some kind of fall-out between the two parties and that’s the reason for the change in relationship and the subsequent court action. Very sad, but again, that could have been foreseen as a possibility.

    I’ve just read the judgment and it makers depressing reading. The end statement is completely true. Dissent like this adversely affects the children in so many ways – and potentially for many, many years. That’s the saddest thing about this case.

  24. Erich – thanks for the link to the findings of the appeal – tells us what we really needed to know before commenting

    James – please follow the link, read what the courts found and come back with a more informed view (in short the children recognise the man as their father, love him and like to spend time with him, have done so regularly, including staying the night, right from the start, and would like more).

    Iris – I reckon you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head

  25. gays and lesbians should not adopt.

    that is against nature. Straight couples ONLY should adopt. And this article is (one of the many) reason why.

    In Nature: One father+one mother= kids

    I am a gay man. Period.

  26. c.j
    How sad to be gay and so prejudiced.
    Period!

    You working for Benedict?

  27. de Villiers 7 Dec 2010, 12:04am

    > gays and lesbians should not adopt.

    I am unsure if this means that gays and lesbians should not together, jointly adopt children so that the child’s parentage is split between at least one gay male and one lesbian woman or if it is that neither gay couples nor lesbian couples should adopt.

    In any event, it appears to me that the statement is not relevant or pertinent to this situation. Where a gay or lesbian couple adopt a child, they do so as a stable two-person entity and become the sole, legal parents for the adopted child. The birth parents lose any legal rights over a placed child. There could be no danger of split parenting between more than one set of parents because the child only has one set of legal guardians, which would be the adopted parents.

    The situation to which this article refers refers is a lesbian couple inviting a male to donate sperm, thereby raising the possibility, or inevitability, of the child having at least two lawful guardians who are not within the same family. It is from this that the problems have then arisen.

    The comment of CJ can have little import in relation to adoption, about which his comments must be misplaced. If anything, the comment appears more directed towards sperm donation. However, even here, the logic falls. The same situation may have arisen with a single, heterosexual woman or a heterosexual woman in a relationship with a male who was infertile.

    The remainder of CJ’s arguments appear less like logical progressions rather than bald assertions with little attempt at persuasion.

  28. radical53 7 Dec 2010, 2:57am

    The days of being “Anonymous Sperm Donor” are over. You cannot USE men like this. Men have a right to take an interest in the raising of the child as much as the mother. As much as lesbians do not want men in their lives, I am afraid it will be as the law now accepts sperm donors as part of the rights of the child.

    Men/ gay men will stop being sperm donors altogether, then everyone looses. NO population

  29. “Men/ gay men will stop being sperm donors altogether, then everyone looses. NO population”

    A tad extreme, don’t you think? I don’t think anyone is talking about the imminent fall of civilisation by lesbian enslavement of men because of this court case. What is it with this site and looney theories of impending doom?

  30. Sounds likie they still don’t get it. Of course there was a chance he would have changed his mind.
    If they had gone to a sperm bank they could have got the details of the doner so the children would still have been able to find out twho their father was but would not have had him involved.

  31. “If they had gone to a sperm bank they could have got the details of the doner so the children would still have been able to find out twho their father was but would not have had him involved.”

    Great advice. But a little academic at this stage.

  32. I’m sorry for them but it’s true that they were extremely naive, if not worse.

    They were naive to not go for an anonymous donor, but if the father is paying for schools and taking the children to doctor’s appointments, he’s
    de facto involved in the children’s upbringing. They can’t have it both ways.

    Their decision now to sell their story suggests they’ve been thinking with their wallets all along, and puts their decision to select a cheap solution for the sperm donor and allowing him to pay for schooling in a different light.

    They have indeed been very naive.

  33. “Really? Involved and taking them for 6 months is not the same.”

    True – but the fact that the couple refused to sit down and discuss reasonable access for the father in a mature manner means they cannot really start whining about his court appointed access. He was willing to enter into discussion about access. they refused. More fool them.

    “I say your comments on the other thread, and they are hardly unbiased. You compared this situation to divorce, with is utter nonsense.”

    Actually it’s not. The children are 7 and 10. The lesbian couple were therefore not in a civil partnership when the children were born as CP’s only became law in 2005. The non-biological mother can only be regarded as the same as a stepmother, seeing as their relationship (even if it is existed, which we don’t know) had no legal status back then.

    As for you yourself, well clearly you are biased in favour of the mothers. Why is that? Why do you think that a willing father being involved in his children’s upbringing is a bad thing? Don;t you think that 3 parents are better than 2?

    “You seem to be airing your own issues rather then seeing this for what it is:- a family unit being broken up for 6 months of the year by a man that who put his own needs above his children…. ”

    Wrong. The lesbian couple are tryinf also to put their needs above those of their children by denying them access to their father. They are in fact worse than the father simply because they chose to go the court route rather than try to negotiate with the father in a mature and adult manner.

  34. “As for you yourself, well clearly you are biased in favour of the mothers.”

    Don’t be so ridiculous. I’m in favour of the children remain with a stable family. You’re the one with the biological-is-best nonsense.

    I’m not going to even address the “wrong” statement. We’ve already covered your bias. The courts are there to negotiate when people can’t. No matter what why you want to spin this for your own personal satisfaction, its one thing:- a father splitting up a family for this own benefit. Separating the children 6 months of the year is not fostering a stable environment for these kids, in fact it’s the opposite.

  35. “Separating the children 6 months of the year is not fostering a stable environment for these kids, in fact it’s the opposite.”

    And that’s it in a nutshell, isn’t it folks? Regardless of mistakes the couple made, this is the real crux of the case, a “father” taking this kids away from their only stable environment for 6 months of the year. Every year. Disgusting.

    David, its obvious your just another right wing religious troll who thinks the “natural” family is ALWAYS best. Well, get a life mate, these lesbian couple ARE a natural family, no matter what you or the law says.

  36. Mihangel apYrs 8 Dec 2010, 10:43am

    Keith
    why did you put “father” in quotes?

    He appears (from the sparce reportage) to have undertaken parenting duties, and wanted more. Had the women involved negotiated then a better outcome (for them) would have been possible. In this case the judge decided (in the best interests of the children) that this custody order should be imposed. Why do you think she has got it so wrong when youi don’t know ALL the facts that she did (including reports)

  37. Succubus Evaligan 15 Dec 2010, 4:18pm

    Why a gay sperm donor should have rights?
    Etymologically. donor = the giver.

    If you donate a kidney or eyes, you can remove them after the person’s you donated?

    The gay father is always a headache for a lesbians couples.

    Gay fathers do not care about the welfare of children but they are more concerned to be recognized as the father of the child (no matter the problems it may cause to the family).

    Apparently no one understands that a couple of lesbian mothers are a functional family.

    When a lesbian couple decide to have children, do not imagine that there will be a man in their lives causing them problems.

    I suggest to all lesbians, refrain from using gay donor sperm. Because it is not the first time this has happened.

    Apparently no one believes that the role of the mother is greater than the parent.

    So they are have to remember. The father is nothing. This one is important in the patriarchy. The bonobo need a father? orcas need a father? Elephants need a father?

    No, the father is not important or affects their lives. Only the mother. We should learn from them to respect women.

  38. @Radical53′s comment of Men/ gay men will stop being sperm donors altogether, then everyone looses. NO population”

    How about instead of having a male-centric view, you go…
    “Women stop donating their eggs, 9 months of their time, sleep, diet, work, health, and vaginas and figures altogether then everyone loses (except the women). NO POPULATION.”
    Mothers do more than a man can ever comprehend.

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