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A lesbian couple have been successful in getting the sperm donor father’s name removed from their children’s birth certificates.
Now, the two women’s names will be recognised officially as their parents.
The father is separately appealing to have his name reinstated and thus remain a recognised part of the children’s parentage, and also to have his request for a relationship with the children heard.
While this is a first for Queensland, and a huge leap forward for many gay and lesbian couples, it does have a wider-reaching implication in terms of parentage.
Removing the name of the father, even if their contribution was purely genetic, does leave a child conceived through artificial insemination with a lot of questions about their heritage and, more specifically, obviously about their genetics – especially pertinent in cases where the child becomes ill and needs a donor, where such could have serious and negative consequences.
Why can’t the father’s name remain and two mother’s names be listed or vice versa if the child is via surrogacy for a gay couple?
Such a decision, not only by the courts but also by the couple, means even lesser the chance of the child, if they so desire, having a relationship with their biological father, as they may never identify this man. It also means they can’t trace back their family tree and broader heritage should they wish.
Even for children where both parents are actively involved in their lives, questions about lineage often arise – where we came from, who we look like in the family, who we get certain characteristics from. This is made so much harder by this decision without good reason.
As this decision has only just been made, it will be interesting to see if such a decision about parentage recognition is upheld, but to me it isn’t just about legal ramifications.
If I were one of those children, I wouldn’t be looking favourably on my parents making such a decision for me when I didn’t have a voice or chance to be involved in such.