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Homosexual Father has the Right to be ‘Third Parent’

Family and Children

In the case of A v B and another [2012], The Court of Appeal made a ruling allowing a child to have three parents.

In this case the child had been born to a lesbian couple.  The father was a homosexual man who had been friends with the couple for some time.

The mother had a religious family who had not accepted her sexuality.  To overcome any difficulties in relation to her having a child she married the father.  They had no intention of living together and they agreed the child would live with the mother and her partner, who would be the main care givers.  The father would be welcome and acknowledged as the biological parent.

As the pregnancy progressed the discussions regarding contact with the child became troubled.  The father requested overnight contact with the child as well as annual holiday contact.  When the child was born the mother and her partner applied for a defined contact order and a joint residency order.  At the full hearing a joint residence order was granted with a slight increase in the father’s contact.  The judge ruled the father’s relationship with the child was limited and secondary and would not change in the near future.  The father appealed.

The appeal was allowed.  The judge had applied case law as a general rule and this had been a fundamental error.  Such cases are fact specific and the key principle was the welfare of the child.  It was generally accepted that a child benefited from having two parents and there was nothing to suggest that having a third would prove to be a disadvantage in this case.  The father had shown a commitment to the child since birth which suggested that he wished to offer the child a relationship or great value.

If would like advice on children matters and civil partnerships please contact our Family Law Department for a free initial interview on Eastbourne 01323 727321 or Hailsham 01323 841481.

Nicholas Dennis
Nicholas Dennis
Alexandra Funnell
Alexandra Funnell
Guy Brown
Guy Brown
Carolyn Richards
Carolyn Richards