First lesbian couple granted parental rights

The first lesbian couple in Scotland to have been granted
parental rights in a landmark legal ruling are being applauded by
gay rights organisations and condemned by church groups.

The decision means that the women, known only as Pam and
Natalie, will have full responsibility for each other’s
children and are considered a family unit by the courts. The couple
have one child each who now have three parents given that the
action was not contested by Pam’s former male partner.

The ruling, made at Edinburgh sheriff court, has been condemned
by many church groups. A spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Church
in Scotland said: “The natural social and biological ideal
environment for children to develop in is with married parents.”
The spokesperson continued to describe the judgement as “creating a
bizarre situation where same-sex couples have more rights than many
unmarried fathers”.

Gay rights campaigners are using the ruling to encourage more
same-sex couples to pursue parental rights. Tim Hopkins,
chairperson of the Gender Equality Network, said: “This judgement
offers the children of same-sex couples the same stability and
legal protection that children of married couples or unmarried
couples can enjoy.”

The case is to be cited by a lesbian couple in Glasgow who two
months previously lost an application to prevent custody being
given to a sperm donor who fathered their child. Glasgow sheriff
court awarded parental rights to the sperm donor on the basis that
the women did not constitute a family unit. The women are now
appealing against the decision.




More from Community Care

Comments are closed.