If you conceive through known donation or or co-parenting (whether at home or at a clinic), who the legal parents are and the position is more complex as it depends upon the marital status of the birth mother whether the recipients are married or in a civil partnershipand whether you conceive at a clinic or at home. The birth mother will always be legally and financially responsible for the child, and will be registered on the birth certificate. Her partner may be a legal parent too, if they are married/civilly partnered or if you conceive through a licensed UK fertility clinic and follow the procedure to nominate her as the second parent.
This has an impact on the donor or co-parent’s position too. If the child has two female parents, the donor or co-parent will not be legally or financially responsible and cannot be registered as the father on the birth certificate. If the child does not have two female parents, the donor or co-parent will usually be the child’s legal father in which case he will be financially responsible for your child if a claim is made. He can also be registered on the birth certificate if you all agree, and this will give him shared parental responsibility with the birth mother. The donor’s partner (if any) will not have any automatic status as a parent, but may be able to take steps to acquire it.
Even if a non-birth mother, donor or co-parent father has no formal rights and no financial responsibilities, if he or she has a relationship with the child then he or she will usually be able to apply to the family court for rights of contact if a dispute arises at a later stage. It is important to put a donor or co-parenting agreement in place and to take whatever other steps you can to ensure everyone is clear about expectations and to help prevent future problems.