An Australian lesbian couple have been forced to give back their toddler daughter after the birth mother “changed her mind” about giving her up.
The girl, who is almost three, will be “transitioned” back to her biological family despite the couple, known as Ms Blaze and Ms Darnley, having raised her since birth.
Ms Blaze, Ms Darnley and the girl’s biological mother, known as Ms Grady, are all profoundly deaf and had been friends prior to the legal battle.
Ms Grady agreed to give her baby to the couple during her pregnancy as she was short on money and thought the biological father would not provide financial support.
Two months after the girl was born, another man, known as Mr Harper, was revealed to be the father.
He asked to have a relationship with his daughter and agreed to financially support her.
Ms Grady then changed her mind about the “quasi-adoption”, and six months later reclaimed the child, forcing authorities to become involved.
In reaching a judgment, Justice Michael Kent said it was in the girl’s best interests to maintain a relationship with the couple but that she should primarily live with her biological parents.
Justice Kent accepted expert evidence tendered to the court which said it was inevitable the child will “gravitate to her biological family” and grow resentful of her adoptive parents as she grows older.
A four-step transition schedule has been set, with Ms Darley and Ms Blaze only allowed to spend one weekend a month with the girl.
Her surname will also be changed from Blaze-Darnley to Grady-Harper.