Lesbian couple with child ‘a de facto family’

Posted on THe Irish Times by CAROL COULTER and MARY CAROLAN April 17 2008  THE HIGH Court has ruled that a lesbian couple living together in a long-term committed relationship with a child can be regarded as a de facto family enjoying rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.     In a judgment that will have an impact on the debate about legislating for same-sex couples, Mr Justice John Hedigan has said that the best interests of a child lay in remaining with his mother and her female partner, denying guardianship and access rights to the child’s biological father, who donated the sperm to the mother.     Legislation to protect the rights of cohabiting couples, including those of the same sex, is due to be published soon.     The father, a gay friend of the couple, yesterday lost his High Court bid for guardianship and access rights. It is believed he will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. Read more.



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