A case heard in the Family Court centred on a rather unusual
dispute between two women who were in a same-sex relationship. The
women commenced a de facto relationship in 2004, sharing a
residence for the following seven years.
In July 2011, one of the women underwent a successful IVF
procedure. The donor of the egg for this procedure was the other
However, the relationship was a tumultuous one. On 21 March
2011, prior to the IVF procedure, the woman who was to be the donor
moved out of the residence that the women had shared.
Did the relationship end when one of the women moved
According to the woman who underwent the IVF procedure, the de
facto relationship ended at the point when her partner moved out.
However, the egg donor claimed that the de facto relationship
between them continued for some months after she had moved out and
that it still existed at the time of the IVF procedure.
Importance of de facto status at time of IVF
Whether the women were in a de facto relationship at the time of
the IVF procedure was the key question that the court had to
answer. If the de facto relationship still existed, the egg donor
was a "parent" of the child in the eyes of the law.
This would have significant legal implications for all parties
and would be considered when the court determined an appropriate
parenting plan for the child. The birth mother of the child
strongly opposed this interpretation.
case a - The case for the egg donor
case b - The case for the birth mother
We were still in a de facto relationship at the time of the IVF
I was still staying at the house several nights a week
We continued to have a sexual relationship
My understanding was that we had a future together centred on
our joint care of the child; I even attended medical appointments
with the birth mother
The content of hundreds of text messages we exchanged before
and after the IVF procedure supports what I'm saying
We were previously in a de facto relationship, but this ended
on 21 March 2011 when she moved out
I paid over $61,000 in total for IVF treatment over 2007-2011,
without seeking or being offered a financial contribution by my
We deliberately misrepresented our relationship on the donor
declaration at the IVF clinic because we knew the procedure would
not be available if we were not partners
At the time of the embryo donation, my ex's clear intention
was for me to have a baby on my own
If that had not been the clear agreement, I would not have gone
ahead with the transfer of her embryo
So, which case won? Cast your judgment below to find out.
The person named as an executor in the deceased's will has the right to arrange for the burial of the deceased's body.
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