Gay Sperm, Lesbian Family Test Rights

Are civil rights zero-sum?

We ask because of a story out of Ireland, where the High Court ruled that a gay sperm donor has no claim to the child he helped produce for a lesbian couple. In his ruling, Justice John Hedigan said that the lesbians should be considered a “de facto” family:

Mr Justice Hedigan said there was nothing in Irish law to suggest that a family of two women and a child “has any lesser right to be recognised as a de facto family than a family composed of a man and a woman unmarried to each other”.

He said the rights of a man who acted as a sperm donor were at least no greater than those of an unmarried father. In considering his application for guardianship the child’s welfare was the paramount consideration.

The ruling gives gay family rights a bit of a boost, but does it deprive the donor of his parental rights?