The recent case of Parson and Anor and Masson  sheds some light on this very complex area of family law.
This is a case which went on appeal, and successfully overturned the primary Judge’s findings and decision that the biological father of the eldest child should not be legally recognised as the father of the eldest child. The Family Court of Appeal found that biology alone does not determine who is a parent and further the intention to parent a child does not make them a parent.
The facts of the case of Parson  are as follows:
What the Court of Appeal said:
The Court of Appeal looked at the Status of Children Act 1996(NSW)- (The “NSW Act”)- the New South Wales act presumes the following when a child is conceived using artificial insemination:
The Court of Appeal also looked at Section 60 H of the Family Law Act and noted the following:
The Court of Appeal found in this case, that the biological father was not a parent under the Family Law Act or the New South Wales Act. The fact that, the father had intentions of being a potential parent did not make him a legal parent. Further, it is clear that the law only considers two people and not three or more to be parents of a child. This can be seen by the use of the word both of the child’s parents throughout the Family Law Act.
The Court of Appeal granted the mothers appeal and sent it back to a Judge other than Her Honour Judge Cleary for another hearing and determination.
As can be seen, the issue of who is a parent when a child is conceived via artificial insemination is fraught with difficulties as the judiciary grapple with these complex and sensitive matters.
The above information is intended as general legal information only. If you require specialised legal advice please contact one of our specialist family lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org
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