Gay Irish woman takes legal action against former partner for access to child

Woman’s former partner conceived girl by artificial insemination during relationship

A gay Irish woman has taken legal action against a former partner in a bid stay in touch with a girl.

Her former partner had given birth when the two women were living together in Ireland after the little girl was conceived through artificial insemination.

They separated, and the Irish woman’s partner had moved to England and taken the little girl.

The Irish woman has now launched legal action in family courts in Ireland and England in an attempt to stay in the little girl’s life.


Detail of the case has emerged in a ruling on the latest round of the litigation by an English High Court judge.

The Irish woman wanted Mr Justice Holman to order her former partner to return the little girl to Ireland.

Mr Justice Holman, who analysed issues at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London in April, said judges in Ireland should have control and make decisions.

“The facts and circumstances of the case are a little unusual,” said Mr Justice Holman.

“These two people were in a relationship, they moved forwards towards the conception of a child.

“A male donor was privately identified and in due course the respondent was successfully inseminated with sperm from that donor.

“The applicant [the Irish woman] says, and I accept, that she was present throughout that actual process of conception.

“It is quite clear that in the period leading up to the birth of the child, both these people were viewing the prospective child as a joint child to be parented by them both jointly.

“In the months following the birth applicant, as well as the mother, were both very actively involved in the parenting of the child.

“The applicant has said ... it was agreed that the child would grow up calling her ‘papa’.”

The judge has not identified anyone involved or said where exactly they lived.