Simpson & Brookman 2010 FamCAFC 37

Two women had lived in an intimate relationship for 9 years and two children were born during this time using IVF, with each woman being the biological parent of one child (same sex relationship).  One woman then left the relationship taking her birth child with her.  Orders were issued for the two children to spend significant time with the other woman and to see their sibling.  One woman then relocated further away making the order impractical and the other woman appealed arguing that the first woman was not facilitating an ongoing meaningful relationship between her and the child whom she considered that she had parented.

Each woman claimed to be a parent of the other’s child, although the trial judge found to the contrary as only a biological parent or an adoptive parent meets the legal definition of being a parent.  Both women submitted that each child regarded each of the women as a mother.

The Appeal Court found that if a child is born by an artificial conception procedure while the woman is married to a man and the procedure is carried out with the joint consent of both adults, then the child is their child for the purposes of the Act, or both the woman and man are parents of the child.

The Appeal Court supported the ruling by the trial judge that the women were not parents of the child whom they did not give birth to (non-parent). The appeal was dismissed.