Lesbian loses court bid to be declared ‘parent’

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A lesbian’s bid to be declared the legal “parent” of her ex-partner’s three-year-old twin boys, born during their 13-year relationship, has failed after a High Court judge ruled that paperwork was not handed to fertility clinic staff on time.

Mr Justice Cobb said Consent to Legal Parent forms had not been submitted to the clinic “assisting the reproduction” before IVF treatment began, and legal requirements imposed by fertilisation and embryology legislation had therefore not been satisfied.

The judge said his ruling was likely to be “devastating” for the 37-year-old woman but he said she could pursue a court application to stay in contact and might still have a “parental role” to play. Neither the women, the children, nor the clinic can be identified.

The women embarked on a “journey” to create a family in 2008 and contacted a fertility clinic and selected a donor.

The twins were born in 2010, with their birth registered with the woman recorded as the “parent” and her ex-partner as the mother.

Mr Justice Cobb said the women had then separated in 2011.

The woman had made an application to the High Court to stay in contact with the boys – and described herself as the children’s “parent”. But it was opposed by her ex-partner who argued she was not the boys’ “parent”.