The Court of Appeal upheld a decision of the High Court that a child should remain with his surrogate mother and her partner rather than his intended parents. The Court upheld the decision that the child should see his intended parents (one of whom was his biological father) every 8 weeks.
The intended parents in this case were male same sex civil partners who wished to have a child by surrogacy. The couple already had twins born through a surrogacy arrangement but their relationship with their previous surrogate had broken down.
The couple found the surrogate mother in this case using Facebook and they met briefly in early 2014 before travelling to Cyprus later in 2014 for embryo transfer using eggs from a donor and one of the intended parent’s sperm.
The relationship between the surrogate and the intended parents broke down during the pregnancy and when the child was born, the surrogate would not agree to the intended parents caring for the child and would not consent to the granting of a parental order. The intended parents made an application to the Court.
The Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the High Court that the child should remain living with the surrogate mother.
It was found that the surrogate mother provided good care and a warm home, promoting the relationship between the child and his intended parents and genetic twin siblings. In contrast, it was found the intended parents did not recognise and would not promote the child’s relationship with his surrogate mother so were not as well placed to meet the child’s emotional needs.
This case highlights the complexities that can arise in this area of the law if a dispute takes place and the importance of detailed planning, discussions and utilising any available professional support from the very outset of considering a surrogacy arrangement.
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