The woman in her 40s, and her civil partner, took the case to the Court of Appeal to try to overturn an earlier ruling that the children should spend almost half the year living with their father.
The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accusing the father of trying to “marginalise” her partner and “overpower” them both with his forceful personality.
But the father, a wealthy man in a long-term relationship, now in his 50s, claims it is his right to see his children and they should divide their time between him and their mother.
The case began in 1999 when the man placed an advert in Gay Times in the hope of finding a lesbian couple to have his children. Looking for a similar female couple who wants to have kids. I require little involvement. I have a lot to offer.”
After a long-term lesbian couple answered the advert, he twice donated sperm and a boy and girl, now aged nine and seven, were born.
Earlier this year a county court judge awarded “shared residency” orders to the mother and father and directed that the children should spend almost half the year with him.
June Venters QC, representing the mother and her partner, said the children were “aware of the difficulties between mummy and daddy” and were at risk of being emotionally harmed by the dispute.
She accepted that the youngsters had a meaningful relationship with their father and said it was in no way suggested that he should lose all contact rights.
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