Legal consequences for semen donors and recipients

This week, the Australian High Court has ruled that a semen donor is the legal father of an eleven year old girl since, by providing the sperm, and being actively involved in her life.

The bombshell verdict comes after the lesbian mother and her wife announced to move with the child to New Zealand.

The semen donor went to court to prohibit the couple taking away his daughter.

After a five- year battle the High Court’s decision overturned an earlier lower court’s judge ruling that the donor has no right to claim.

At the time of the semen donation, in 2006, the mother of the child was single and a close friend of the donor. However, the initial plan to raise the child together failed at a certain moment as the mother started a relation with a woman.

Despite the donor mentioned as the father on the child’s birth certificate and the girl called him “daddy” she began arguing that he was not the real father.

The High Court now ruled that unmistakably he is the legal father and has the right to prevent the family relocating to New Zealand.

The judge explained that in this case the father was not just a sperm donor. After donation he kept involved in the child’s life.

What we’ve learned from this case is that semen donors playing an active role in the child’s life, sometimes can be seen as a parent.

It happens in many cases that donors in one way or another are involved in children’s lives. Usually they do not claim to be the legal parent of the child. Donors and recipients should be aware of the consequences.