In the News: An Unusual Family Case

The Royal Courts of Justice

An unusual case of family law has been in the news recently, where a girl living with two mothers has been ordered to stay in touch with her two fathers.

The fourteen year old girl who was born from donor fertilisation has been ordered by high court to stay in touch with her two ‘fathers’ against her wishes – a case that has been labelled extraordinary.

The teenage girl was represented by a lawyer at a private hearing in the family division of the high court, invoking provisions of the 1989 Children Act to persuade a judge of her right to be left to reach her own conclusions. The judge, however, ruled that it was in her best interests to have ‘a limited form of relationship’ with her fathers.

The girl and her younger sister live with her biological mother and her civil partner. Her biological father is in a civil partnership with another man. The two mothers have also argued against the girl being made to keep contact with them.

The judge, Mr Justice Cobb, ruled that the fathers have the right to send their daughters cards, letters and gifts. He reasoned that she would benefit from a modest link with them, and noted that the fathers:

“Wish to emphasise that they love the children, they always will, they will always be there for them and interested in them. They hope that the children will one day look back at the happy times of contact enjoyed in the past.”

In contrast, the girl and her younger sister (10) have spoken of the legal proceedings as having “ruined their childhoods.” The protracted litigation, which began in 2008, has had a profound effect on them and they claim that “their fathers were solely to blame” for this.

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There's never an easy way to approach complicated family cases such as these, but at Fiona Bruce we strive to treat every situation with sensitivity and respect. If you're in need of legal advice with a family-related issue, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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