A UK woman who became pregnant after a one-night stand yesterday won the right to keep the existence of her baby a secret from its father.
In a landmark decision, three Appeal Court judges agreed that the 20-year-old single mother has “the ultimate veto” over whom should be told about the child, who is being put up for adoption.
The mother, who’s identity is being kept private, hid her pregnancy from her family, colleagues and the father.
The baby girl, known only as E, was delivered in June and was left in hospital shortly afterwards.
The mother she asked for the child to be put up for adoption, but the county court ordered that her parents and the father should be told to give them the opportunity to apply to adopt.
Friday, the judges decided the father had no rights over the child, who is now in foster care, because “he was only a one-night stand”.
And they banned the local authority and guardian from taking any steps to identify him or telling him about his daughter.
The mom is said to be 19 and didn’t learn about the pregnancy until a late stage.
She was unable to bring herself to tell her parents she was pregnant and drove herself to hospital in the middle of the night to have the baby.
The judges heard that the pregnancy resulted from a “one-night stand” with a colleague while both were “on the rebound having broken up with long-term partners”.
“He is now back with his fiancee, continuing with that relationship and he has no idea she has given birth to his or any other child.”
This dad deserves to know that he has a baby. It is sad that no one even gave him the option to step up and take custody of her.
It is not the judges job to protect this girl from her mistakes. She is supposed to be a neutral body that is appointed to do what is best for the baby. Being in foster care until she is found an adoptive set of parents is not what is best for the baby. The ideal situation is always to be with a family member.
Former Home Secretary David Blunkett, a champion of fathers’ rights after his paternity case over his son by Kimberly Quinn, said: “We as a society should not be expected to be the father and mother of the child when at least one of them has been excluded from accepting responsibility.”
“Perhaps the judiciary should take a collection to pay for the arrangements for care and subsequent adoption, because obviously someone pays in such circumstances.”