A lesbian mum has lost her Appeal Court battle to stop the gay father of her two children spending more time with them.
Three appeal judges unanimously rejected her bid to overturn an order giving the father joint residency of the kids – a boy of ten and girl of seven.
And the adults were told to put aside their differences in the interests of the two young children.
The father met the mother after he placed an advert in Gay Times magazine in 1999 which read "Gay guy wants to be a Dad. White, handsome, solvent 30s, professional, in happy relationship, non-scene, has everything but kids."
It continued: "Looking for a similar female couple who want to have kids. I require little involvement, I have a lot to offer."
The lesbian couple who replied were happy for the father to have contact with the children, but have been their main carers since birth and considered themselves their parents, the court was told.
The two women accused the father of being domineering and controlling and also claimed that he favoured his son over his daughter when he bought the boy a puppy.
The father took the case to court earlier this year and in June was awarded a shared residence order which meant the children would spend almost half the year with him.
County court judge Simon Barker QC said at the time that he had been struck by the intensity of the women's dislike for the children's father.
The Appeal Court was told that the children were 'aware of difficulties between Mummy and Daddy'.
Yesterday, as she upheld the original 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.
'It is a tremendous privilege to be involved in bringing up a child.
'Childhood is over all too quickly and, whilst I appreciate that both sides think that they are motivated only by concern for the children, it is still very sad to see it being allowed to slip away whilst energy is devoted to adult wrangles and to litigation.
'What is particularly unfair is that the legacy of a childhood tainted in that way is likely to remain with the children into their own adult lives.'
Neither parent was in court to hear the judgment from Lady Justice Black, who was sitting with Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and Lord Justice Patten.
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