The High Court of Justice recently published a judgement in which it highlighted the risks to all those participating in informal conception arrangements. While the circumstances of the case are unusual, the issues raised by the court are relevant to the majority of informal donor conception cases.
Mr Justice Peter Jackson stated that regulated fertility treatments are ‘broadly successful in protecting participants from exploitation and from health risks, while providing some certainty about legal relationships’. In highlighting the potential risks of entering into an unregulated donation, he explained that ‘participants in informal arrangements have to judge all risks for themselves. They may not be in a position to do so. Those seeking to conceive may be in a vulnerable state and not all donors are motivated by altruism’.
On consideration of all of the facts, including the undertaking of a DNA test, the judge found that the donor was the child’s legal father. The donor was ordered to pay the legal costs incurred by the mother due to his dishonest and obstructive behaviour but more significantly a hearing has been scheduled to deal with a financial application where the maintenance payments that the donor will be required to pay towards the child will be decided.
Please visit the relevant sections of our website for more information about donor conception, known donation and children and parenting disputes or, if you would like to discuss your situation in more detail, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)207 222 1244.