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Father's name stripped from birth certificate

Father's name stripped from birth certificate
Article source reprinted from SMH
August 17, 2011

Publication Restriction:
Publication restriction on anything that would identify the child the subject of the proceedings
editor said
There have been a number of amendments made throughout to protect the identity of the child. The two legal parents who are the subject of the finding have had their names removed as well as places, times and other details have been removed. Of note is that the Sydney Morning Herald has not amended it's articles which have been simply reproduced. We believe we have adequately complied with the requirements
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A man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple will have his name stripped from their child's birth certificate after a successful legal bid by the birth mother's ex-partner. (SHAME on you John Hatzistergos  - Attorney General NSW from 2007 until 2011 and Minister for Justice, between 2003 and 2005 and again between 2007and 2009.)

The woman took the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and biological father, to court in May to have his name replaced with her name in the document.

The female child was born in 2001 and the women split in 2006, although they continued to share parental responsibility.

The man also played a role in the child's life.

NSW District Court Judge Stephen Walmsley today ruled in her favour, but expressed sympathy for the biological father.

NSW District Court Judge Stephen Walmsley said
I am not persuaded there is any contractual right which can affect this application.

As [the biological father] concedes, there was no agreement before [the child's] birth that he would be on the register when he agreed to donate his sperm.
The judge said the man and the child obviously had a strong emotional attachment.
District Court Judge Stephen Walmsley said
I have considerable sympathy for the man - he has done what he considers has been his very best for the child.
Outside court the man, said he was devastated and labelled the outcome an injustice.
The Father said
She's not my daughter as far as the law is concerned.

The laws are totally inadequate, there are no laws to protect people like me.

It's a very bad day for fathers, that's all I can say.

AA v Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages and BB [2011] NSWDC 100
Secretary SPCA said
This outcome is hardly unexpected in view of the draconian and ill formed legislation that was rushed through by Labor and the previous Attorney General and Minister for Justice, John Hatzistergos, in NSW in an all night sitting that effectively rushed through amendments to over 50 pieces of legislation.

What was quite despicable is that many sitting members had not a single clue as to what they were voting on.

The controversial new bill that was proposed to remove the word "father" from birth certificates and to recognise lesbian couples who have children through IVF was put before the NSW Parliament in June 2008. Fifty laws across NSW covering the Local Government Act, Industrial Relations Act and the constitution were amended to include new parental presumption protection for female same-sex couples. Lesbian parents were expecting to see expressions such as "birth mother", replace "mother" and "both parents" to replace father. We were able to maintain the "FATHER" field on the certificate issued by BDM but lost a range of other key amendments.

At the time, The Shared Parenting Council of Australia (and the Children's Rights Council of Australia) called on all men and women of conscience to reject and oppose the Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Same Sex Relationships) Bill 2008, and if required, to be prepared to exercise their conscience vote for the public good at the next NSW State Election. They most certainly did…

Previous FLWG news item

Article Source SMH May 2011 - Reprinted from URL

Nxxx Rxxxxxxx was so excited about the impending birth of his child 10 years ago he discussed building a home in the Blue Mountains for himself and the lesbian couple who had used his donated sperm to conceive.

Mr Rxxxxxxx, who answered the couple's advertisement in a magazine, said they agreed he should be involved in his daughter's life but exactly how was never decided.

He said he provided sperm to Jxxxxx Sxxx, now 49, paid $5000 for her fertility treatments at a Woollahra clinic and paid for the midwife who managed the home birth of their daughter in August 2001.

He had also agreed to father a child with Ms Sxxxx's partner, Sxxx Mxxxxx, but that failed. The women separated in 2008.

Ten years on, after a tumultuous relationship among the three parents, Ms Mxxxxx is taking the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages and Mr Rxxxxxxx to court to have his name removed from the girl's birth certificate.

It is the first case of its kind since the introduction of a retrospective law in 2008 giving lesbian couples equal parenting responsibilities or legal status.

Of 94,354 birth registrations last year, 117 were for children born to same-sex parents.

Mr R, 58, a retired real estate agent, said he had gone through ''10 years of hell'' and spent $50,000 on legal fees. He has seen the girl for five hours a fortnight since she was one. He paid $150 a week support for her first year, though he was not obliged to, and paid one-third of her school fees for two years.

Last year he had allowed Ms Sxxx, listed on the birth certificate as a clairvoyant and funeral celebrant, to stay at his home for three months when she was unable to pay rent at her own home, he said.

The girl, who was recently diagnosed with Axxxxx sxxxxxxx, is the major beneficiary in his will and she calls his mother ''Nan''.

He is devastated that he may be taken off the birth certificate.
The Father, said
It's a very depressing situation  the birth certificate is more than a bit of paper; it tells people who you are. (Write to your NSW member if you want this fixed)

No one seems to care about fathers these days.

The three had been ''all wrapped up in the moment of having the child'' and were on good terms until the birth.

I was going to build this great big house and live together in Lxxxx. Everything was fine until the baby was born  they used me and they took my money and now they've got what they want, they really just didn't want to know me.
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Both women declined to comment.

A sperm donor does not have legal parenting responsibilities - and thus cannot make decisions about the child's education or medical needs - even if a court grants visitation rights and he is on the birth certificate.

It is not possible under NSW law to have three parents with legal responsibilities. Had The father had sexual intercourse with Ms Sxxx or married her, he would have gained that legal status.

Partners of lesbian mothers gained that right automatically with the introduction of the Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Same Sex Relationships) Act.

A family law expert, Paul Boers said
There was still confusion among gay and lesbian parents.

I get lesbian couples concerned about whether the sperm donor might come back and seek parenting orders [to spend time with the child]. I tell them that he's got to get over the hurdle of convincing a court that he's concerned with the care, welfare and development of the child and he's got an established relationship with the child.'
Dads on the Air, at the time said
The NSW government is introducing a controversial new bill to remove the word "father" from birth certificates so as to recognise lesbian couples who have children through IVF. Fifty laws across NSW covering the Local Government Act, Industrial Relations Act and the constitution will be amended to include new parental presumption protection for female same-sex couples, heterosexual defacto couples, but not male same-sex couples.

The bill equates the position of a lesbian partner of a woman who has a child after becoming pregnant by a fertilisation procedure, other than sexual intercourse, with the position of the father of a child. All parents will see the expression "birth mother" replace "mother" and "both parents" replace "the father and the mother" on birth certificates.

Also under the proposed bill, the term "paternity leave" is to disappear entirely from all NSW legislation, to be replaced instead by the term "partner leave". While this doesn't change any of the rights of fathers to take leave upon the birth of their child(ren), and while it gives the partners of heterosexual and lesbian mothers the right to take leave upon the birth of their partner's child(ren), the language used is rather unfortunate. By trying to be inclusive by using the 'benign' term 'partner', the proposed Bill is actually insensitive to the specific role that fathers play in families, and the specific needs that children have for hands-on care by their fathers at a young age.

The use of the term 'partner' seems to imply that fathers need only take leave because they are the partner of the mother of the child (i.e. to support her), rather than needing to take leave because they are the father of the child (i.e. to support their child). The importance of fathers in children's lives as fathers (and not just as partners of mothers) thus appears to be downplayed. Mothers are once again portrayed as intrinsically important in their role as mothers (as of course they should be), while fathers are depicted as having a secondary role (in language at least).

The moves have created a furore, exposing the anti-father anti-traditional-family ideology of the left for what it really is: a full frontal assault on the role and importance of fathers. A betrayal of the working class men who voted for the government in the naive belief that they would stand up and support them.

Next Tuesday there will be a meeting of many of the leading figures in the Australian fatherhood movement at the Theatrette inside the NSW Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney. Next week's show will be devoted to the debate, including live interviews from the gathering, which will run between 10.00AM and 1.30PM. It is likely that the bill will be voted on the next day.

Warwick and Alison Marsh from the Fatherhood Foundation, who are organising the meeting, write:

"'Father' to go from Birth Certificate" is the headline of a story in the Herald Sun on 18th May 2008. The Same Sex Relationships Bill 2008 will radically alter 57 pieces of important legislation in a calculated attempt by the NSW Labor Government to discriminate against men, derogate fathers, fragment families and break the hearts of our children.

"Children need a mother and a father. To deprive them of that right by government regulation is callous and heartless. Legal advice has indicated that the proposed bill, as it affects Section 24 of the Anti-Discrimination Act (1977), could make the word 'father' discriminatory. Sadly this has already happened in California, USA after the passing of similar legislation."

The Australian Family Association is campaigning against the change and we are pleased to have their spokeswoman Angela Conway on the program. "We oppose the change, it is part of the national and international picture of eroding the traditional family and the concept of a natural parent," she said. "The social science evidence is pointing us in the other direction; that natural parents, both mothers and fathers, are vital to their children. It is going on all around the world. It is a particular agenda. It is designed to reconstruct families as being anything but mum, dad and the kids. Whether a bloke is homosexual or not, his fatherhood is important and being a father to that child is important." We also invited the Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby, the Attorney General and the shadow Attorney General to appear on the program but they have yet to accept our invitation.

As part of an agenda to undermine men at every turn, the Australian government has gone into overdrive around the issue of domestic violence. Despite the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics survey of violence showing men are overall the subject of twice as much violence as women and are often the victim of domestic violence and sexual assault, men are being entirely ignored in the latest push. The Rudd government has established a National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women which will be chaired by feminist advocate Libby Lloyd, a founder of the Australian White Ribbon Day Campaign.

Minister for the Status of Women Tanya Plibersek, who is heading the campaign, is trumpeting the dubious and widely discredited claim that one in three women experience domestic violence - portraying Australian men as a bunch of bashers. Academics and lobbyists around the world have struggled to get common sense back into the debate. Anyone who tries to question the paradigm of men as patriarchal abusers and women as victims gets howled down. "No person should fear for their safety at home, at work, or on the street," says Plibersek. Quite so. But why ignore male victims and why revert to outdated feminist models that clearly haven't worked for 30 years? A simple Google search on male victims of domestic violence throws up a wealth of material discrediting the hoary old chestnuts which are now being inflicted on the Australian populace. Studies around the world, including in Australia, have shown that domestic violence is a two way street.

In this context we are delighted to have domestic violence counsellor and expert Toni McLean on the show. She has had the courage and integrity to genuinely think outside the square when it comes to violent couples and the best way to promote healthy relationships.


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