The Family Court of Australia has again rejected appeals from a lesbian mother who has been trying to stop her former partner from having access to her child.
The court last week dismissed an appeal brought forward in the case being referred to under the pseudonym of ‘Aldridge and Keaton’.
Since 2008, ‘Aldridge’, the biological mother of a three-year-old child has been trying to stop her former partner, ‘Keaton’, from being granted limited access to the child conceived while the pair were in a relationship.
In the initial case, Aldridge raised concerns over Keaton’s mental health and suitability as a mother and asserted that there was no point fostering a relationship between Keaton and the child, as it would not impact on the child’s sense of family identity.
The Chief Federal Magistrate who oversaw the case ruled that in spite of these arguments Keaton had “played a major role in the child’s life… was actively involved in caring for the child after birth and has continued to be a significant figure in the child’s life,” and should therefore be granted limited access to the child.
Aldridge’s counsel appealed the decision, essentially arguing that an application put forward by a biological parent should be given more weight than an application brought by a non-relative.
The court has dismissed that appeal and affirmed the original ruling to allow Keaton limited access to the child over the phone, for one weekend a month and sometimes on special occasions.
A spokesman for the Inner City Legal Centre, which represented Keaton, said her counsel was “pleased with the outcome, and not really surprised”.

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