(Family Division, Theis J, 25 October 2016)
Private law children – Surrogacy – Consent – Surrogate refused to provide consent to parental order application
The application for parental orders was adjourned.
The mother and father were unable to have children and were introduced to the surrogate through a non-profit organisation. A surrogacy agreement was signed and embryos created using the parents’ gametes were implanted.
The surrogate became pregnant with twins but during the pregnancy she was advised that there were health concerns if she were to continue with the pregnancy. Further advice was sought and the surrogate carried the children to full term but relations with the parents broke down due to the surrogate feeling she had not been adequately supported by the parents.
The parents had cared for the children since birth and the surrogate and her husband stated that they wished to have nothing more to do with them. Child arrangements orders were made which conferred parental responsibility on the parents and prevented the surrogate and her husband from being able to exercise parental responsibility. Applications for parental orders were made and all of the criteria under s 54 of the HFEA 2008 were met apart from the consent requirement.
The application for parental orders had to come to a halt. There was no way that parental orders could be made without the consent of the surrogate. The parents sought an adjournment in the hope that the surrogate would change her mind.
The application was adjourned generally with liberty to restore.