Custody battle ensues after single mom who conceived with help of ex-boyfriend dies
MONTREAL, Quebec, April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A single woman’s decision to conceive a child with the help of an ex-boyfriend has led to a chaotic court battle over who possesses parental rights over the child, after the mother died from cancer.
The unmarried Montreal woman, 36, whose identity is subject to a publication ban by court order, desired to raise offspring a few years ago, reported the National Post. The woman reportedly explored the option of using the services of a fertility clinic that would artificially inseminate her with sperm from an anonymous donor. But when the expensive procedure proved beyond the woman’s budget, she turned to her ex-boyfriend and employed his services to help make a baby.
The woman reportedly paid the ex-boyfriend $1400 for what she considered to be a sperm donation, a service that he rendered to her through sexual intercourse. The woman considered herself a single mom, but allowed the father of the child to visit his daughter occasionally.
Three years after the child’s birth, the mother succumbed to cancer and left her young daughter in the legal care of grandparents.
The ex-boyfriend of the deceased single mother then entered the scene to make a parental claim for the young girl, arguing that he was her legal father. The case appeared before a Quebec court. The ex-boyfriend won a paternity ruling from the Quebec Court of Appeal last year, and that ruling was upheld last month when the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear an appeal of the case.
Michael Lubetsky, the lawyer who represented the girl’s grandparents at the appeal court, told the National Post that it is a parent’s “worst nightmare” that a biological parent can “show up and start asserting rights over the child.”
“That’s incredibly disruptive…. It’s an attack on the family structure,” he said.
But Andrea Mrozek, manager of research and communications at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, told LifeSiteNews she believes the real “attack on the family structure” happened years ago with the breakdown of the once widespread cultural understanding that sexual activity happened within marriage and naturally led to children.
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“If that breakdown hadn’t occurred so substantially and profoundly perhaps we wouldn’t have this circumstance where people are entering into this type of huge moral responsibility [through artificial reproductive technologies] quite as lightly as they do.”
While Mrozek said that she sympathizes with women who desperately want to have a child, she pointed out that the means that the woman employed to achieve her desire was “profoundly child-unfriendly.”
“Research shows that a child fairs best with a father and a mother — his or her biological parents — in a stable relationship for life,” she said.
Mrozek lamented that many Canadians are simply ignorant of the vast amount of research that confirms that children do best when they are raised by married parents who have created a strong family environment.
She lauded the biological father of the young girl whom she believes “did the right thing at the end of the day when he manned up and said ‘this is my child.’”
Maria Reilander, a teacher at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, who has a masters in Theological Studies, agrees with Mrozek’s assessment that the breakdown of the traditional family structure has resulted in what she believes is a moral chaos that threatens the unity and stability of society.
“Lawyer Lubetsky’s comment on what he believes is the ‘attack on family structure’, namely that a sperm donor won the parental right to his biological child, entirely misses the target,” said Reilander to LifeSiteNews.
“What a case like this highlights is the overall attack on the traditional meaning and dignity of marriage and the family that results from it. The case only demonstrates how marriage and family have been ripped asunder, to the detriment of the child, through the aid of unnatural procedures such as artificial insemination and IVF.”
Reilander pointed out that “it is ultimately the children who suffer when the unitive and procreative dimensions inherent in the sexual act are removed from within the context of marriage.”
“In the case of that poor child in Montreal,” she said “we are simply seeing the devastating repercussions of ignoring the moral order that really goes hand-in-hand with human procreation.”