Baby from Danish sperm donor 'not eligible for citizenship'

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Baby from Danish sperm donor 'not eligible for citizenship'

Denmark's Supreme Court has ruled that a baby born to a Cuban mother after she became pregnant with sperm from a Danish donor is not eligible for Danish citizenship.


The mother had argued that her son, who was born in 2018 should be eligible for citizenship under the Danish Citizenship Act, which stipulates that a child automatically becomes a Danish citizenship if either their father or mother is a citizen. 

In February 2020, the Ministry of Immigration and Integration ruled that the boy should not be granted Danish citizenship at birth, a decision the boy's mother then contested in court. 

The ruling is particularly significant for Denmark because of its thriving sperm banks, with the Aarhus-based Cryos International boasting of holding the largest store of sperm in the world, with the Copenhagen-based European Sperm Bank coming shortly behind. 

Danish providers are popular across Europe as they are allowed by law to give mothers more control over hair colour, height and other characteristics. 


When the ministry rejected the mother's application for the boy, it pointed to the Children's Act, or børneloven, which states that a sperm donor is not generally considered the father of a child created by artificial insemination. 

In its judgement, the Supreme Court recognised that every child has the right to have a father in a legal sense, but said that in the cases of sperm donation, the donor's rights must be also be taken into consideration, and that sperm donors should not therefore be considered fathers under the law. 

The Supreme Court also ruled that as the boy already has Cuban citizenship, the decision to deny him Danish citizenship did not render him stateless and was therefore not in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

A previous judgement, last November, from the Østre Landsret, one of Denmark's two high courts, also ruled that the boy was ineligible for citizenship. 




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