Judgment was reserved in an application launched by a sperm donor to have access to his biological son after the child’s biological mother and her same-sex partner severed all ties with him. According to a Pretoria News report, the parties before the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) agreed that this case is a first of its nature for South Africa.
Advocate Liezl Haupt SC, acting for the donor, told Judge Jody Kollapen that he would have to apply the wisdom of Solomon in deciding this application.
At centre stage is a little boy who turned five this month. On the one hand is the applicant, who donated the sperm to conceive him. In the other camp are the child’s same-sex parents. The sperm donor and his mother (the child’s biological granny) want to be involved in the child’s life and be able to have contact with him. The lesbian couple, on the other hand, said they are legally the child’s parents and that they do not want the donor to be involved and to interfere in their little family.
The Pretoria News report notes that the donor is at this stage only asking the court to grant him interim access to the child, which would involve him seeing the child at certain agreed times. This, he wants, pending an investigation by the Office of the Family Advocate as to what is in the best interest of the child. The respondents, however, said after they had linked-up with the sperm donor on social media and he agreed to father the child, they had drawn up a contract in which he renounced all rights to the child.
The father is not denying this, but he and his mother have approached the court, under the Children’s Act, which means that the court had to determine what was in the best interest of the child. At the start of the proceedings Kollapen said as a child was involved, the media would not usually be allowed to attend the matter. But he has made an exception, provided the parties are not identified, as this case addressed important issues in law.
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