The couple — known as Ms Blaze and Ms Darnley — had an informal adoptive arrangement with the birth mother Ms Grady, who decided during her pregnancy in 2012 that she would relinquish custody of her daughter after the birth.
Over a seven day trial in Brisbane, the Family Court heard the biological mother’s decision was based on her belief the child’s father would not be able to provide financial assistance to the newborn or her three other children, who are now aged 19, 11 and 10.
However, DNA testing undertaken after the birth established the man Ms Grady suspected to be the father was not the biological parent, and it was later determined that another man, Mr Harper, was in fact the father.
Justice Michael Kent delivered his judgment in the Family Law Court, ordering the biological parents of the girl — known as “B” — be given shared parental responsibility as it was in her best interests.
Ms Grady had been a long term friend of Ms Blaze, and the couple resided with Ms Grady from February 2013 until the child’s birth in June, contributing financially to the household and assisting with the care of Ms Grady’s other children.