Landmark ‘parental rights’ case in the offing

Jan 15, 2021 | Article

A lesbian couple have launched an application in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) intended to block an artificial insemination sperm donor from claiming parental rights to their child. A notice filed by lawyers for the couple indicated that the couple, in a permanent life partnership, were litigating against the sperm donor. The application challenged the constitutionality of a section of the Children’s Act, amended in 2005, that created room for the sperm donor to claim parental rights.

The couple decided to launch what promises to be a landmark application after the sperm donor, known to them before the artificial fertilisation, sought parental rights after their child was born. A standing agreement between the three was that he would not seek recognition as a father or be involved in the child’s life in any way. The man went against the agreement after birth and now intends to oppose the application.