I have no right to call myself mummy any more… same-sex couple’s break-up sadness

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Today the consumerwatchfoundation begins to tell  real-life stories … only names and locations have been changed… please share your own stories to info@consumerwatchfoundation.co.uk   or go to https://www.consumerwatchfoundation.com/send-us-story/

I am the mother of a child born through donor conception within a same-sex relationship.

I am the non-biological mother to our child, my ex-partner and I agreed that she would carry our child.

Due to the complications during the birth of my first and the fact that my partner was slightly younger than I, it made more sense for her to carry our child ( a choice that heterosexual couples do not have).

We sought a donor who said he did not want to play a part in our child’s life. When my eldest daughter was six years old my partner gave birth to our new little one.

Same-sex marriage was not legal at this time – it was before 2014 – and due to the fact that our child was not conceived through a clinic and IVF there weren’t any definitive legal steps to securing our family unit.

Sadly, two years later, my partner left our relationship taking our youngest child with her.

In order to try and retain my relationship with our daughter – and my eldest daughter’s relationship with her sister – I approached the family court in order for them to support and help me regain contact.

I filed my case in  2015, and the case has now lasted four long years. Professionals involved have been biased, naïve and uneducated around same-sex parenting. 

I have waited months and months between hearings, with no contact  – so much for innocent until proven guilty.

My eldest daughter spent night after night crying herself to sleep, begging me to let her see her sister. There was nothing I could do, I felt helpless and any attempt I could make to establish contact could result in an offence of harassment.

She was so distressed she became physically unwell, she suffered at school and generally became reclusive and angry.

18 months into my case and things seemed to be working out.

CAFCASS then tried to re-establish contact but this was refused by my ex-partner.  By this time two years had gone by.

Because the family court were unable to secure my relationship in a timely manner, my rights as a parent to our child, and my daughter’s rights to a relationship with her sibling were completely neglected and severed.

A psychologist was then called to carry out an assessment which lasted a few hours with a series of tick-box forms to complete. Due to the process being so protracted, by the time the psychologist had carried out her assessment she concluded that my daughter had no recollection of me any more and that only indirect contact would be suitable.

The court refused to acknowledge my parental position and denied me any parental rights over our daughter.

I am still astonished, bewildered and appalled by the whole family court process.  

Nobody ever asked to witness me with my daughter or organised for my eldest daughter to spend time with her sister to see the relationship and bond they had.

In fact I was told that I was no longer allowed to refer to myself as a mother any more to our daughter.

Our daughter had always called me mummy and referred to me as such and now not only am I being prevented from seeing her but now I am being made not to use the familial name our daughter knew me as.

Not only did the family court fail to protect either child’s rights wishes and feelings but they also failed to fully recognise me as a parent and prevented me from calling myself a mother any more, completely destroying my family unit.

Through this horrendous experience and learning more and more I am now in the process of setting up a charity to raise awareness.

5 thoughts on “I have no right to call myself mummy any more… same-sex couple’s break-up sadness

  1. Yes this problem predominantly seems to be a male focused issue . I know EXACTLY how majority of fathers going through this feel

  2. Andrea Marie Walker I’m so sorry for this – it’s a horrid predicament for any parent who isn’t the biological parent in the same sex partnership to have to experience! My heart goes out to you – I know your story already we have spoken about it! I have a gay son and and stepdaughter and I worry about this if they choose to go down the parenting path but not biologically! It’s disgusting that family courts don’t support the rights of these parents – yet adoptive or foster parents would receive help im sure! X

  3. Matthew Jackson I understand this completely. I came out later and had a son with my first wife. Had regular contact with him for 5 years after the divorce. Even being the biological father and named on the birth certificate means nothing. I have not seen him for over two years and am left with sending a card every month. That’s CAFCASS and the family court system. There are no safeguarding issues and I am regular DBS check cos of my job. Yet no regard for the best interest of the child.

  4. So sorry to hear your story Mathew , I have heard many stories where parents have had children in a heterosexual relationship and then they have come out as LGBT , their ex partner then uses their sexuality against them in order to alienate the child from them . So sad that you only have indirect contact – it’s the cruelest form of contact you can have . Yet government statistics will show that nonetheless this is a form of contact therefore they are helping parents and families. But this is not the case

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