Should a sperm donor’s name be on a birth certificate?

by Peter Magee on August 23, 2011

In a controversial case before the New South Wales Supreme Court, a Judge has concluded that having a sperm donor’s name on a birth certificate would save pain later.

On 28 June 2011, Zoe Paterson, a solicitor from our office, published a blog titled “Lesbian and sperm donor fight for child”.  That blog commented on a case which was part heard at that time before the Court.  On 22 July 2011 that blog was required to be amended to withhold the identity of the parties involved as a result of an order made by the presiding Judge.  See our blog dated 22 July 2011 for further information.

In the most recent events surrounding this unusual case which deals with the issue of multi-parent families, the presiding Judge suggested that changes ought to be made to allow sperm donors to be listed on the birth certificate.  He said:

“No doubt a provision for registration of a third parent for a situation such as this one might be a neat answer to the problem this case presents”.

He also went on to say when commenting about the sperm donor:

“I do not find it surprising that he sees it as unjust, that almost ten years after his name was placed on the register (birth certificate) as the father, his name may be removed and replaced with the name of (the birth mother’s) former partner”

The New South Wales Attorney General is now considering the Judgement and the changes recommended.

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