Family Law Hub

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008

Statute, published: 31/12/2008

Items referring to this

  • An unmarried couple had sought assistance from a fertility clinic which resulted in a child being born using donor sperm. Following an audit by the clinic, it was revealed that the necessary consent by the 'father' relating to parenthood prior to treatment (as required by s.37 HFEA 2008) was not on the file. He applied to the court for a declaration that he was indeed the father of the child. The declaration was granted, the judge saying that it was more likely than not that the father had signed the relevant form and it had subsequently been mislaid by the clinic. Judgment, 16/02/2015, free
  • In this surrogacy case, the commissioning parents were applying for a parental order in relation to two girls where the application had been made 17 months after the 6 month deadline had expired. The parental orders were made. Judgment, 22/07/2015, free
  • Judgment, 10/03/2013, free
  • Child arrangements application by biological father in order to secure his status in relation to the child under UK law, as he did not have parental responsibility, not being on the child's birth certificate. Judgment, 11/05/2017, free
  • A final hearing in respect of an application for a parental order under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFEA 2008) concerning two children born pursuant to a surrogacy arrangement between the applicants and the respondent, the gestational surrogate. Parental orders made. Judgment, 02/08/2013, free
  • Parental orders could not be made in favour of the biological parents of the children because the surrogate mother and her husband would not give their consent, following the breakdown in relations between the parties. Judgment, 31/10/2016, free
  • Surrogacy case where the same sex couple was seeking a PR order after the 6 month time limit following the birth of the children had passed and where the Indian surrogate mother could not be located (there was also uncertainty about her marital status). The PR order was made. Judgment, 16/02/2015, free
  • A case in which the mother of 2 children was disputing that her ex-partner, who was a lesbian, was the childrens' parent. The issue in this case was whether the steps taken by the parties and by the licensed fertility clinic, which was responsible for assisting the reproduction, were effective to grant the ex-partner's status as legal 'parent'. Judgment, 26/05/2013, free
  • Judgment in five more cases concerning parental responsibility and errors at fertility clinics. All five were granted the declarations sought. Judgment, 08/05/2017, free
  • The latest in a series of cases where there were errors with the paperwork in the fertility clinic. The President made a declaration that the applicant was the legal parent of the child. Judgment, 30/05/2018, free
  • Parental order granted following Indian surrogacy arrangement that took place 6 years earlier Judgment, 29/09/2017, free
  • Application for a declaration of parentage under s.55A Family Law Act 1986 after paperwork errors were discovered at the fertility clinic who had treated the couple. Judgment, 28/03/2017, free
  • Application by the child's two fathers for a parental order after the child was conceived by artificial insemination, using a donor egg, and carried by the sister of one of the fathers. The only question before the court was whether s54(4)(b) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 had been satisfied. The judge ruled that one of the fathers was domiciled in England despite living in South Africa with his South African partner and accordingly made the parental order sought. Judgment, 28/02/2014, free
  • Application for a parental order in relation to a child born as a result of a surrogacy arrangement entered into by the parties through a surrogacy agency based in California. Parental order made. Judgment, 02/08/2013, free
  • Application for a parental order in relation to a child born pursuant to section 54 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (‘HFEA 2008’). The child was conceived through IVF treatment in Moscow, with the First Applicant’s sperm and eggs from an anonymous Russian donor, and carried by a married Russian surrogate mother. Parental order made. Judgment, 02/08/2013, free
  • The latest in a group of cases where there were serious deficiencies in the fertility clinic's procedures which in this case led to one of the women of the same sex couple erroneously applying to adopt the child, of whom she had believed she was the legal parent and was named on the child's birth certificate as such. The court revoked the adoption order and replaced it with a Declaration of Parentage. Judgment, 13/09/2016, free
  • In another case involving administrative problems at a fertility clinic, the applicant was granted a parental order in respect of the child that was born following IVF treatment. Sir James Munby was particularly scathing about the failure by the clinic to pay the applicant's costs in a timely way. Judgment, 03/10/2016, free
  • Parental order granted following a surrogacy arrangement in Cyprus. Judgment, 18/02/2016, free
  • Despite the concerns raised (including reservations by Cafcass about the relationship of the applicants and whether it was, in fact, an enduring family relationship as required by s 54(2)(c) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 and concerns by the court about the status and legality of the agreement entered into in Thailand) the court made parental orders in respect of both children. Judgment, 19/07/2016, free
  • Costs order made against the fertility clinic where there had been mistakes with the paperwork. Judgment, 11/05/2017, free
  • Declaration of parentage made in a case where the fertility clinic had lost the relevant consent forms. In this damning judgment the judge described the clinic's litigation conduct as "wholly extraordinary". Judgment, 21/01/2016, free
  • Judgment, 03/02/2013, free
  • The President made an order that the biological mother of twins was their parent after the fertility clinic erred by getting the 2 women (the other of whom was the gestational mother) to sign the wrong consent forms. Judgment, 06/04/2016, free
  • Child’s welfare is paramount when considering child’s living arrangements post-surrogacy agreement breakdown Judgment, 19/01/2018, free
  • Declaration made the applicant was the father of the child who was born following IVF treatment, and where the parents had signed a consent form that was out of date. Judgment, 12/04/2016, free
  • The majority held that the child, who had been taken to Pakistan, had not lost her habitual residence and therefore the appellant's application under the 1989 Act can and should proceed to substantive determination by the High Court. Judgment, 03/02/2016, free
  • The latest case involving the registration of the father on the children's birth certificates after the wrong forms were signed following fertility treatment. Judgment, 20/01/2017, free
  • Application by a same sex couple for parental orders in respect of twins born to a surrogate mother in the USA. At the end of the judgment, the judge emphasises the need for parental orders to be made promptly in respect of children born as a result of international surrogacy agreements. Judgment, 28/05/2013, free
  • The child of the parties was born as a result of a 'partial' surrogacy agreement. The father was the biological father of the child but the mother was neither the biological or birth mother. The parties failed to lodge their application for a parental order in time, which was 6 months from the date of birth of the child. They did however have a shared residence order. Their relationship then broke down and they eventually divorced. The problem in this case was that a parental order could now not be made because they did not satisfy s54(3) of the HFEA 2008 (the 6 month time limit point), nor could the couple adopt the child because they were no longer together and did not satisfy s54(4)(a). Mrs. Justice Eleanor King, in making the child a ward of court, endorsing the shared residence order, delegating joint parental responsibility to the parties and prohibiting the surrogate mother from exercising any parental responsibility, said that the facts of this exceptional case 'stand as a valuable cautionary tale of the serious legal and practical difficulties which can arise where men or women, desperate for a child of their own, enter into informal surrogacy arrangements, often in the absence of any counselling or any specialist legal advice'. Judgment, 06/03/2014, free
  • Parental order was made where the child was born in India as a result of a surrogacy arrangement. The parents had made an application for a Child Settlement Visa which was refused as there was insufficient evidence that the applicants were the child's parents. It was acknowledged that the father was the child's biological father and that he has indefinite leave to remain in the UK but, for the purposes of rule 297 of the Immigration Rules, the child's father was the husband of the surrogate. Judgment, 20/06/2016, free
  • Hague Convention case where the child, whom the judge ruled was habitually resident in the UK and had been made a ward of court soon after birth, had been taken to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. At the time the father was under an order of probation awarded by a criminal court in relation to an offence of domestic violence. The judge agreed that the name of the father and the child could be made public, emphasising that "this is not a secret court." Judgment, 24/03/2014, free
  • Father of the child was seeking a declaration pursuant to section 55A of the Family Law Act 1986 that he was, in accordance with section 36 of the 2008 Act, the legal parent of the child in circumstances where the fertility clinic's procedures had been inadequate. The declaration was made. Judgment, 18/09/2016, free
  • Proceedings concerning the legal parentage of a child where Ms M claimed that he had been conceived through sexual intercourse and Mr F, a sperm donor who Ms M met via the internet and who was the biological father of the child, said conception was as a result of artificial insemination. If conception was through sexual intercourse, Mr F would be the legal parent but if it was the result of artificial insemination the question of parentage would depend on the effect of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. Judgment, 24/07/2013, free
  • Proceedings concerning the legal parentage of a child where Ms M claimed that he had been conceived through sexual intercourse and Mr F, a sperm donor who Ms M met via the internet and who was the biological father of the child, said conception was as a result of artificial insemination. If conception was through sexual intercourse, Mr F would be the legal parent but if it was the result of artificial insemination the question of parentage would depend on the effect of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. Case note, 20/08/2013, members only
  • Costs order made against the fertility clinic where there had been mistakes with the paperwork. Judgment, 11/05/2017, free
  • 8 cases relating to mistakes with the completion of forms following fertility treatment. Declarations were made that in each case, the applicant was the father of the child/children. Judgment, 20/01/2017, free
  • Training note, 07/08/2012, members only
  • Training notes to accompany Piers Pressdee QC's webinar on Private Children Law, recorded on 15 October 2013 Training note, 24/10/2013, members only
  • Application for an adoption order where the applicant had entered into a surrogacy arrangement with his mother. The adoption order was made. Judgment, 05/03/2015, free
  • Declaration that the applicant was the father of the child following IVF treatment but where the mother had made a mistake when completing the form to give consent to the applicant becoming the father of her child. Judgment, 09/06/2016, free
  • Another case where the parties, who had undergone IVF treatment, had signed the incorrect forms provided by the clinic and thus the father had to seek a declaration pursuant to section 55A of the Family Law Act 1986 that he was, in accordance with section 36 of the 2008 Act, the legal parent of the child. Judgment, 09/06/2016, free
  • Surrogacy case in which the court had to decide if significant sums paid to the surrogate mother, which were made after the US surrogacy agent drafted an agreement, were disproportionate to reasonable expenses. Although it was conceded that payments other than for expenses reasonably incurred was unlawful in the state in which the surrogate lived, the judge ruled that the biological parents acted in good faith and were not aware of any difficulties until the issue was raised by their lawyers in this jurisdiction. The judge therefore authorised the payments under s 54 (8) and granted parental orders in favour of the biological parents. Judgment, 21/11/2013, free
  • Case note, 16/06/2010, members only
  • A case providing another cautionary tale of the difficulties that can be encountered in entering into foreign surrogacy arrangements. The main questions here, when considering an application for a parental order, were whether consent had been given by the surrogate mother and whether the court should authorise payments totalling almost $28,000 to the surrogate agency. Judgment, 01/05/2014, free
  • Parental order was granted to a married couple where the marriage was platonic. The President confirmed that a sexual relationship is not necessary for there to be a valid marriage. Judgment, 14/03/2018, free
  • Judgment from The President concerning surrogacy, parental orders, the six month time limit for application from the child's date of birth and whether the court has jurisdiction to make such an order if the application is made after the expiration of 6 months. He concludes it does. Judgment, 03/10/2014, free
  • A parental order was granted following a surrogacy arrangement which took place in Nepal. The judgment includes some helpful advice from the FCO regarding overseas surrogacy arrangements. Judgment, 12/05/2016, free
  • When section 54(1) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 provides that in certain circumstances the court may make a parental order on the application of "two people", is it open to the court to make such an order on the application of one person? Can section 54(1) be 'read down' in accordance with section 3(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998 so as to enable that to be done? These were the questions raised for decision here and in Munby P's judgment the answer to each question was clear: No Judgment, 08/09/2015, free
  • Father of a child born to a surrogate mother was seeking a declaration of incompatibility in that Sections 54(1) and (2) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 are incompatible under Article 14 ECHR taken in conjunction with Article 8 insofar as they prevent the father from obtaining a parental order on the sole ground of his status as a single person as opposed to being part of a couple. Judgment, 20/05/2016, free
  • A case where the surrogate mother withdrew consent to hand over the baby to the commissioning parents. Judgment, 21/09/2016, free

Published: 31/12/2008

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