14 Mar 1919

High Court set to decide if a sperm donor should be considered a ‘parent’

Managing Director and Special Counsel, Simon Creek, joins Channel 9’s Tracey Vo to discuss the a case that is going to the High Court questioning if a sperm donor is a parent.  Watch the clip below for more on what Simon Creek had to say.

 

Read follow up article: Is a parent actually a ‘parent’? 

Video Transcript

Tracey Vo: [00:00:00] Well the high court fight between a sperm donor and the mother of his biological child has raised the rights and definition of a parent. The donor wants to be recognized as his daughter’s legal parent to stop her moving to New Zealand. He’s listed as the father on the birth certificate and she even calls him Daddy. Simon Creek from HHG legal joins us now. Good afternoon to you Simon. What issues has this case raised from about sperm donation and the legal definition of a parent?

Simon Creek: [00:00:27] Look depending on what happens in the High Court this could change the playing field completely and forever. At the end of the day there’s a lot of ambiguity across Australia at the moment as to the definition of a parent. And it seems pretty clear to me that the Federal Attorney-General wants to fix that.

Tracey Vo: [00:00:43] Okay. So other countries have preconception agreements. What are those and why don’t we have them here.

Simon Creek: [00:00:48] Look ultimately in other countries you end up with an agreement before sperm is donated as to what that means and what rights the father will have in terms of the child later on including contact. And I totally agree that it’s something we should be looking at here in Australia.

Tracey Vo: [00:01:05] As you mentioned earlier the Attorney-General is looking to step in asking the High Court to use the federal law definition of a parent but is is is it that clear cut to some extent it is.

Simon Creek: [00:01:16] Every state seems to have a different definition of what parent means whereas federally a parent there’s not too many exceptions to what that means. And here the question being posed is simply because you are a sperm donor should that let you off the hook in terms of all of the responsibilities of parentage.

Tracey Vo: [00:01:37] What about. I mean putting parents rights aside as a child have any rights in this situation.

Simon Creek: [00:01:41] I think this is the most important question of them all and people are always surprised at this but parents don’t have rights under the Family Law Act or DWI as Family Court Act the child does and the child generally has a right to a relationship with both parents and any other important person in their life. So here it’s gonna be as big an issue for DWI as any other state.

Tracey Vo: [00:02:04] Yeah it sure is. What happens next and could the outcome affect other areas of parenting such as adoption surrogacy and egg donation.

Simon Creek: [00:02:12] It will potentially affect everything every area of family law. We wait to see what the High Court will do. But I think one of the biggest issues that might perhaps make sperm donors somewhat worried is the issue of child support particularly in this case for example the child’s 12 years old and if Dad wins there’s a big question as to how far back he has to pay child support or whether it’s backdated or not and has to be clearer doesn’t it Zoraida.

Tracey Vo: [00:02:40] All right Simon Creek thank you so much for your time.

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