Sperm donor takes lesbian couple to court to keep child in Australia
A sperm donor is taking a lesbian couple to the High Court in Australia to stop them from moving to New Zealand with his biological daughter.
The man—who has been given the pseudonym Robert Masson by the courts—is arguing that he agreed to donate sperm on the condition that he would help parent and provide financial assistance.
He agreed to donate sperm to the woman—who has been given the pseudonym of Susan Parsons by the court—in 2006, according to the Guardian.
The high court will decide whether the case falls under state law or commonwealth law
The high court in Australia will now have to decide whether they should apply state law or commonwealth law to the case. Under state laws, a sperm donor is not considered a parent. However, under commonwealth law, he is considered the child’s parent as her biological father.
“We went away on holiday together and cooked up that we would have a child, and the stipulation from my side of it was ‘I have to be Dad.”
– Robert Masson
He initially prevented them from moving from Australia through the family courts where he was found to be a parent of the child. However, an appeal found that he was just a sperm donor under state law.
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His lawyer will argue that commonwealth law should be adhered to in the case, whereas lawyers for the lesbian couple will argue for state law.
The sperm donor was a friend of the woman before their court battle
Masson claimed that he and Parsons were friends for 20 years when they decided to have a baby together, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“We went away on holiday together and cooked up that we would have a child, and the stipulation from my side of it was ‘I have to be Dad,’” he said.
“I have to be part of that child’s life because I didn’t know my own father,” he continued.
Masson said that he has had significant involvement in her life since she was born. He said that the child and her sister—who is not his biological daughter—call him “daddy.” He also said he cut the child’s umbilical cord when she was born and has had overnight visits and taken her to ballet rehearsals.
He claimed he was never known as just a sperm donor until he took legal action to prevent them from leaving the country.