09/12/2010 08:51 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Lesbian Couple Faces Court Fight With Sperm Donor Dad Over Access

Lesbian couple court battle with sperm donor dad A lesbian couple is facing a court battle with their baby daughter's sperm donor.

Stacey Cassin, 24, and her partner Kate, 26, wanted a child but could not afford hospital IVF treatment, so they advertised for a sperm donor on a gay website.

Freelance musician Mark Hartill, 30, replied and agreed to donate his sperm.

Kate – who married Stacey in a civil ceremony 18 months ago – conceived after six attempts, and their 7lb 10oz baby girl was born earlier this year.

The couple, from the Melton Mowbray area, Leicester, claim Mark entered into a "gentleman's agreement" not to be involved in the little girl's upbringing.

But now he is asking for access and full parental responsibility.

Stacey said she and Kate would fight 'tooth and nail' to bring up the baby in a "loving family relationship.

Speaking in The Sun newspaper, she said: 'The agreement was that Mark would be able to see the baby after the birth but he would not be a parent.

'Mark came to see her three times after the birth and has decided he wants to be a daddy, which breaks the verbal agreement we had.'

She added: 'Now Mark's family have been getting involved and his mum has sent us emails backing up her son.

'We are determined to fight this through the courts, though we never wanted it to come to this.
'We are sure right is on our side. Our girl is a beautiful baby who will be brought up in a loving, caring family.'

Mark, of Nottingham, said last night: 'It's a private matter.

'I don't want to say anything that could prejudice the case.'

A lesbian mum lost a fight earlier this month to stop the gay dad of her kids from spending more time with them.

The Court of Appeal upheld an order giving him joint residency for the boy, ten, and the seven-year-old girl.

Related articles

Lesbian court battle turns nasty

Lesbians make better parents, say experts

Fresh semen brokers face prosecution over unlawful fertility business