Barnsley man who mixed sperm with father's to get partner pregnant does not need paternity test

The judge at Sheffield High Court said Barnsley Council had "no stake" in the outcome of a paternity test. Credit: PA

A man who mixed his sperm with his father’s to help his partner get pregnant will not have to have a paternity test, the High Court has ruled.

After experiencing fertility problems and being unable to afford IVF treatment, the Barnsley man, known as PQ, and his then-partner, JK, agreed to mix his sperm with his father’s, RS, and inject it into the woman, the court heard at a hearing last month.

Mr Justice Poole was told that the arrangement was “always intended” to be kept secret and resulted in the birth of a now five-year-old boy, known as D.

However, after Barnsley Council was informed about the circumstances of the conception in separate proceedings, it brought a legal bid over the parentage of the child.

The council asked the High Court in Sheffield to direct DNA tests that should be carried out to determine whether the man was D’s father.

But in a judgment on Thursday, Justice Poole dismissed the bid, finding the council had “no stake in the outcome”.

The judge said the family had “created a welfare minefield”, adding: “I cannot believe that JK, PQ and RS properly thought through the ramifications of their scheme for JK to become pregnant, otherwise it is unlikely that they would have embarked upon it.

He continued that the boy “is a unique child who would not exist but for the unusual arrangements made for his conception, but those arrangements have also created the potential for him to suffer emotional harm were he to learn of them”.

Justice Poole said the man had an established father-and-son relationship with the child and it was up to him and the boy’s mother to “manage the latent risks to his welfare”.

“It must be acknowledged that the circumstances of D’s conception cannot now be undone," he said.

“Without testing, his biological paternity remains uncertain but there is a strong chance, to say the least, that the person he thinks is his grandfather is his biological father, and that the person he thinks is his father is his biological half-brother.”

Dismissing the council’s bid, the judge said the body does not have parental responsibility or a “personal interest” in the boy’s biological parentage.

“It may wish to know who is D’s biological father, but it has no stake in the outcome of its application," said Justice Poole.

“A wish to uphold the public interest in maintaining accurate records of births does not confer a personal interest in the determination of such an application.”

Justice Poole concluded that the family may wish to undergo a paternity test to tell the child at a later date “but that is a matter for them”.

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