Re D (Parentage: Local Authority Application)

February 16, 2024

A number of members of Chambers were involved in a unique case at the High Court in Sheffield concerning the need for a paternity test for a child (D) who was conceived when a man (PQ) used a mixture of his own and his father’s (RS) sperm to get his then-partner (JK) pregnant following issues with conceiving.

Shaun Spencer KC and Simon Pallo acted for Barnsley Metropolitan Council. Joseph O’Brien KC and Lance Dodgson appeared for the Third Respondent, instructed by Foys Solicitors.

Mr Justice Poole ruled that a paternity test was not required as, whilst PQ, RS and JK had “created a welfare minefield” in conceiving D in such a way and that D could “suffer emotional harm” if he were to learn about the nature of his conception, DNA testing was not an issue which required determination within the care proceedings and the Local Authority had insufficient personal interest to have standing to make an application for a declaration of parentage.

The judgment is available here.

This case also received widespread coverage on BBC News, Sky News, ITV News, the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Star.