Family Law Hub

A (A Child: Surrogacy: s 54 Criteria) [2020] EWHC 1426 (Fam)

The three-year-old child had been born as the result of a surrogacy agreement, an IVF embryo produced from the couple's gametes being implanted in a surrogate mother. The couple separated before the child was born, and the father had stated that he had no wish to play any part in the upbringing of the child. The biological mother had applied for a sole parental order, but the father having changed his mind, they now jointly applied for a parental order. The three legal issues were (i) that the application was made outside of the six-month time limit (s 54(3)); (ii) that the child's home would not be the same home as both parents because they had separated (s 54(4)(a)); and (iii) whether the mother and the father could be found to be two persons who are "living as partners in an enduring family relationship" (s 54(2)(c)). Reading the provisions of s 54 in a "purposive and Convention compliant manner", Keehan J was satisfied that the statutory requirements were met on the facts of this case and concluded that a parental order made in favour of the couple was the only order which would in law recognise them as the child's parents, and was overwhelmingly in his best interests. Keehan J therefore made a parental order in respect of the child in their favour.

Judgment, published: 22/12/2020


Published: 22/12/2020


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