A sperm donor, supported by his mother, is heading to the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) next week in the first part of their legal bid to have access to the child born to a couple with whom he entered a donorship agreement five years ago.

They want immediate contact with the child, pending an investigation by the Family Advocate to determine what the child’s best interests are.

Although he has played an active role in his son’s life up to now, the couple no longer want him in the child’s life. The man and his mother have approached the court, under the Children’s Act, for an order that they be granted parental rights and responsibilities over the minor child.

He is questioning many aspects of the upbringing of his biological child by the two mothers, cited as respondents in the case.

A report in The Star says the matter raises important constitutional issues regarding the rights of children born by gamete donation as well as the adults involved.

The couple are opposing the application.

The child was born to the two women as a result of the successful execution of a sperm donorship agreement between them and the man, who is homosexual. It will be argued on behalf of the man that he did not receive legal advice before signing the donorship agreement.

The mothers allege that the agreement was prepared by an attorney, but the man maintains that no consultations between him and an attorney took place.

He said he never underwent a psychological evaluation before signing the agreement.

Under the agreement, the man agreed that he would neither make contact with nor be entitled to any rights to the child to be born from the donation.

The respondents rely on the agreement they had reached with the sperm donor, in which they said he had renounced his rights, notes The Star report. They say the grandmother has no legal standing in being a party to the application, as she has nothing to do with the issue.

It will be argued, on behalf of the granny, that she does have rights as the biological grandmother. She says she had nothing to do with the agreement between the respondents and her son.

Shani van Niekerk of Adams & Adams Attorneys, assisted by two senior advocates, are acting for the applicants in the case.

Full report in The Star (subscription needed)