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(Family Division, Baker J, 28 September 2012)
Male civil partners had twin boys via a surrogacy arrangement with an Indian surrogate through a clinic in India. All parties signed the contract but as per the procedure of the clinic the men were not permitted to meet the surrogate. The woman signed a consent form prior to the birth and the men took over the care of the twins 2 days after their birth. They then returned to the UK. The clinic failed to obtain the requisite consent 6 weeks after the birth from the surrogate and refused to co-operate in order to find her.
The men applied for parental orders. The court directed an investigation into the circumstances but the men were unable to locate the surrogate despite the assistance of an enquiry agent. The court held that the men had taken all reasonable steps to find the surrogate and that it was in the interests of the welfare of the child to make the parental orders. Applicants were advised to ensure clear lines of communication with the surrogate prior to the birth in order to obtain consent once the child was born.
The Red Book is the acknowledged authority on practice and procedure