Family Law Hub

B (Adoption: Surrogacy and Parental Responsibility) [2018] EWHC 86

An adoption application brought in respect of a baby born to a gestational surrogate in the Ukraine.

  • In brief: Here, we have an adoption application brought by the applicant (“X”) in respect of B, who was born to a gestational surrogate in the Ukraine in August 2017. Prior to the adoption order being made, X had no legal status in respect of B, although a child arrangements order was made in X’s favour so that she could consent to medical treatment on B’s behalf. B’s father (“Y”) had initially wanted involvement in B’s upbringing, but during the pregnancy changed his mind and wanted no further role. Both Y and the surrogate (“Z”) consented to X’s application to adopt B and ultimately the court made an adoption order in X’s favour. A notable feature of the judgment is that X was, for a period, exposed to a legal lacuna. Following her birth, Ukrainian law conferred parental rights on X and Y, and no rights or responsibilities on the surrogate. In this jurisdiction, the Ukrainian parental rights were not recognised, leaving B in a potential situation of being a “legal orphan” and “potentially stateless” (per Hedley J in Re X and Y (Foreign Surrogacy) [2008] EWHC 3131. This was remedied only once an adoption order was made, giving X the status of B’s legal parent.

Case note, published: 23/09/2019

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Published: 23/09/2019

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