Q&As

Where a same-sex male couple are married/civil partners, and one of that couple will be a sperm donor for a woman who is married/a civil partner to another woman, who would have parental responsibility for the child, be the child’s legal parents and be registered on the birth certificate?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 17/05/2019

The following Family Q&A produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where a same-sex male couple are married/civil partners, and one of that couple will be a sperm donor for a woman who is married/a civil partner to another woman, who would have parental responsibility for the child, be the child’s legal parents and be registered on the birth certificate?

We have assumed that you are referring to a non-surrogacy arrangement, ie that the woman who is to carry the child is not doing so under a surrogacy agreement with the intention of the child being raised by the male couple. Different considerations will apply in that scenario. See: Surrogacy—overview.

Parental responsibility means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and their property (section 3(1) of the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989)). For further guidance, see Practice Note: The meaning and scope of parental responsibility.

The woman who carries the child is treated as the mother of the child pursuant to section 33(1) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFEA 2008) and will automatically have parental responsibility for the child. If, at the time of the placing in her of the embryo or the sperm and eggs, or of her artificial insemination, the woman who carries the child was party to a civil partnership or a marriage with another woman, then the other party to the civil partnership or marriage is to be treated as a parent of the child unless it is shown that she did not consent to the assisted re

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