A lesbian mother has lost a bitter custody battle with the homosexual man who fathered her two children through artificial insemination.
Two children have been in the middle of the legal tug-of-war in a case that has highlighted the pitfalls of artificial insemination.
The mother and her lesbian civil partner were challenging a previous ruling which said that the children should spend almost half the year with their father.
But earlier this week Appeal Court judge Lady Justice Black rejected the appeal and ruled that the youngsters, one boy and one girl, should live with their father for 152 days of the year.
The lesbian couple said that they were the main carers and that the children should live with them, with more limited contact with their father.
They also accused the children’s father of being domineering and controlling, and the mother claimed that he had tried to “marginalise” her partner.
The children were conceived after the man placed an advert in a homosexual magazine saying that he wanted to become a father.
But the court heard that the father plays an active role in the lives of his children who are now aged ten and seven, including taking them to doctors’ appointments and paying their school fees.
Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, previously warned: “It’s always a recipe for disaster to try and create children to order by artificial means to satisfy the desires of natural parents who are unrelated and lack a shared commitment to parenting.”
Speaking as she upheld the previous court order Lady Justice Black said: “If the adults do not manage to resolve things by communicating with each other, the children inevitably suffer, and the adults may also pay the price when the children are old enough to be aware of what has been going on.”
Neither of the parents was in court to hear the judgment.
Last year a senior Government parenting adviser claimed that lesbians made better parents than heterosexual couples.
But critics hit back and said that children need fathers. They also pointed to a wealth of studies which said children do best when raised by their married biological parents.