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Entries in radio drama (1)

Tuesday
Jun142016

Radio Four drama on legal contact case feels true to life

A 45-minute drama of Radio Four felt very realistic, even if the case was set in the English courts and concerned a very particular aspect of child contact.

Behind Closed Doors  is set in the Family Courts where Harry, a sperm donor, is trying to get a court order to allow him to see 'his' daughter. Beth - the mother - is now in a lesbian relationship and would prefer Harry to keep his distance.

Harry offered to donate sperm so his lesbian friend and work colleague, Beth, could have a baby. After the birth Harry visited Beth and got to know baby Molly. For a time Beth was happy for Harry to visit but she never intended to have a relationship with him or for him to become involved with Molly as a father. Things went from bad to worse when Beth formed a relationship with Melanie and Harry felt he was completely excluded from seeing Molly. Now a judge has to decide whether Harry should have any contact rights.

Because of the English court setting, the court hearing involved a CAFCASS report and the father was representing himself (no legal aid in England).  But factors such as the judge telling parents that the case involves the interests of the child rather than their rights, the difference in the child's attitude to her father when interviewed away from the mother, and the mother's admission that her anxiety about contact could be affecting her daughter could have been copied straight from many of the cases we hear about at FNFS.  Well worth a listen.