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UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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I used a donor found on an internet site to conceive

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I used a sperm donor found on an internet site to conceive my little boy with the agreement being that he was not to have contact. this was made verbally. He has now instructed solicitors for access. what rights does he have?
Hello and thanks for your question.

I need a bit more info to be able to answer:

Is your donor named as the child's father on the birth certificate?
Who in all is named as the child's parents on his birth certificate?
How old is your boy now?
Has the donor ever met your boy? If so, how often and for long each time roughly?
Did you yourself give birth or was he born via a surrogate?
Was the arrangement made with the donor made via a fertility clinic?
Are you single? gay? Straight? married? If in a couple, did your partner know that you'd conceived via a donor?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply, no problem with giving feedback. Im gay. My civil partner is named as the other parent on my sons birth certificate and was aware of the conception. The donor met my son once one a one off basis as a good will gesture. My son is 10 months old. We originally said we would update the donor with photos and cards biannually at birthdays and Christmas and that we would allow him to do the same. The donor said this was all the involvement he wished to have. He then wanted monthly access when my son was 5 months old out of the blue which we did not agree to. we asked him to stick to the agreement. The donor then pushed this to the point I told him to stay away as his contact was threatening. No clinic was used it was a private arrangement via a sperm donor website. I have not heard from the donor for 5 months until I received the solicitors letter

Hello again and thanks for the extra info.

As the donor is not named on the birth certificate, that means that he does not have parental reposnsibilty - which although largely symbolic would have meant that you would have been obliged to get his consent or permission from the court on major decisions in your boy's life, like changing his name, or emmigrating, and also he would have had the right to be kept informed of your boy's education progress and health issues.

However, as the agreement made was not via a fertility clinic, it means that the arrangement was not regulated by the HFEA rules, which means that the donor WILL be treated as the legal father, which gives him the right to apply under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 for a child arrangements order for contact with your boy.

The question is how will the court treat his application for contact. The court must decide any issue concerning children according to what is best for that particular child.

Unfortunately for you, the court does place great value on fathers having contact with their children, unless there is very good reason why that should not happen. You could use the fact that his behaviour was threatening as a reason why he should not have contact - but that may not be enough for the court to agree that he should have no contact at all - the court could order contact at a contact centre eg for an hour a month.

At a very minimum, the court is likely to order that he should have the contact that you offered ie indirect contact of annual photos & udates, but the ocurt might order mores frequent indirect contact, or even face-to-face contact - but that could be supervised - eg at a contact centre.

I'm afraid there are cases where donors were sucessful in getting the court to make a contact order in their favour.

If contact centre contact was ordered, and then he did not keep to the order eg he missed sessions or turned up late or left early or did not behave appropriately within the session, or continued to be threatening to you, then you could take the case back to court to ask for the order to be revoked.

Given the age of your son, it's unlikely that anyone other than you could supervise the donor's contact with your boy (unsupervised contact is very unlikely to be ordered, given that your boy is still a baby and doesn't know this man at all). If the relationship with the donor is such that to be in the same room as him would be very stressful to you, and your baby would pick up on your distress, and become distressed as well, that might be an argument that you could use against the donor having any face-to-face contact with your son.

Either you or he could start the court process, for which you need form C100, here:-

However, going to court is stressful, time-consuming and expensive, to be avoided if at all possible. The family court anyway now requires the parties to have attempted mediation before it will consider an application to court, so here's where to find a local family mediation service:-

There is a specialist fertilty law firm which could give you expert advice here:

but if that is not local to you, you can find a specialist family law solicitor here:

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...

UKfamsol and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again.

I see that you have looked at my answer but not accepted it. Is there anything in your question you feel that I have not answered? Or anything in my answer that you'd like clarified? Let me know - I'll do my best!


Thanks very much for your positive rating and paymnet - much appreciated!

I forgot to include in my answer the issue of child support. As your agreement was an informal one, just as you are not protected against the donor applying to court for contact, he is not protected from you claiming child support from him.

Here's a government website for more info:

best wishes.....