Can anyone help us get in contact with the lesbian Mum's who were taken to Court in Melbourne?

Kathy - posted on 03/26/2015 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Hi forum members,

Can lesbians in Melbourne please help us find the lesbian women known under the court pseudonyms of "Roberts" and "Meadowbank"? They were taken to court in similar circumstances to those we now face and they succeeded in gaining recognition of their roles as legitimate parents, whereas we are facing serious difficulty in gaining similar recognition in our current case.

My partner and I are a lesbian couple and we are the birth mother and co-mother of a lovely 5 year old boy.
We have always mistakenly been lead to believe that we must allow our son to spend overnights with his sperm donor dad and his aggressive new partner.
We went along with this demand for years, even though our child begged not to have to stay away from us, because we were informed by a counsellor that we had to let him stay with his "dad."
The "dad' have recently demanded that we give them 50/50 split of our son's time, and he doesn't want to go to stay this amount of time and has said so over and over.

When we refused they have taken us to court. In the first court session the judge acknowledged under the law that we are the legal parents of our child and have sole parental responsibility. However, we were ordered to see a "Single Expert" for the court and she has now written a report saying we are all fit and capable parents and that she supports the "Dads" request for increasing overnights.

Our son has told us and another psychologist that he sees our home as his primary home. However, the Court Psychologist has gone over this to order 50/50 shared care.

There were two similar cases in Melbourne and the pseudonym names of the cases were "Wilson and Roberts" and "Reiby and Meadowbank"

Any help in getting in touch with these women would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you
Desperate Sydney Mum's

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Jodi - posted on 03/26/2015

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Kathy, here are some links to the cases so you have details of the lawyers involved in the cases.

http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodi...
http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodi...

Also, here is an interesting article.
http://bwbfamilylaw.com.au/rights-donor-...

I think one of the big questions will be whether you had an agreement that he was merely a "sperm donor". You will need evidence of that.

Just remember, the "Single Expert" is not a judge and doesn't necessarily focus on the finer legalities, nor on the law of precedent that we follow in Australia. Your lawyers CAN argue precedent, and if precedent isn't followed, it is grounds for appeal, so judges take it quite seriously. If this expert was a psychologist, they are merely recommendations based on psychology not law.

Sarah - posted on 03/26/2015

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I am not familiar with the laws of sperm donation in your country. Did you proceed with the IVF and pregnancy without a contract? If you had a written agreement that stated he was donated his genetic material then he has no claim to it in the future. I hope you find the information you are looking for and that it helps solve your issue. Maybe try doing a search for "the lawyers of" and then use the pseudonym and see if you can find out who represented the parents?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/26/2015

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I would contact lawyers in that area to help you with your case. This is an international site, so it would be really hard for anyone to help you. Seek the best lawyer you can find.

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Kathy - posted on 03/26/2015

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Wow - thank you Jodi!

I will check out these articles later today.
Yes, we had a verbal agreement but it involved the original partner of the sperm donor, who was our friend, but he was HIV positive, so couldn't donate sperm.
However, we have learned that these verbal of even written contracts are dismissed because you cannot contract on a child.

I look forward to reading these articles - thank you so much!

Kathy - posted on 03/26/2015

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Thanks again Sarah - I have now found the lawyers involved in both cases.
I will ask them tomorrow for advice and whether their clients might also get in touch with me for support.
My partner and I run a small business and so do not have a great deal of cash and so doing research myself is the main way I can try to get our son's needs heard.

Thanks again!

Kathy - posted on 03/26/2015

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Thank you Sarah E,
Thanks Sarah!


That is excellent advice. I will try to find the lawyers!

We had a verbal contract, but in Australian Law it has been established that this is not applicable because you can't contract on a child nor pre-decide the child's best interests. This was stated clearly in the judgements of the two cases cited.

Thank you again - that's a great idea!

Kathy - posted on 03/26/2015

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Thanks again.


Thanks again:
This man was the partner of our friend. We did want them to be involved. Our friend was HIV positive, so this man donated sperm and it was through IVF that our son was conceived. Shortly after our son was born, the men broke up.
Our friend had a breakdown, abused drugs and went to rehab. His partner ordained that he was to have nothing to do with our son. we went along with this.
No child support.

Australian Law recognises us as the parents, however, this court expert has still ordered that the "donor dad" and his partner have increased shared parenting graduating to co-sharing. It is against the legal status, but inexplicably this is what the expert has recommended.

Kathy - posted on 03/26/2015

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T
Thank you Little Miss.
We did have a lawyer, a cheap one, as that was all we could afford. We asked him to object to using a Single Expert to decide our case. Instead he stood up in court and said the opposite to our instruction, and that we would adopt the Single Experts recommendation.

Thank you also, we just realised that this is international and yes, we are looking for anyone who knows the women in Melbourne as they might be able to point us to the right legal representatives, as we've been badly let down so far.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/26/2015

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Just curious. When you say "sperm donor" did this man actually donate to a facility where you got IVF? Or is he a friend of yours that "helped" conceive naturally? Is he paying child support? So many questions, but really a lawyer needs to review your case. Do you want your child to see this man as a father figure?

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