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Family Law

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12 APR 2016

Re I (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008) [2016] EWHC 791 (Fam)

Re I (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008) [2016] EWHC 791 (Fam)
(Family Division, Sir James Munby P, 12 April 2016)

Private law children – HFEA 2008 – Application for declaration of parentage – Wrong consent form used – Mistake in form

A declaration of parentage was granted pursuant to s 55A of the Family Law Act 1986.


The child was conceived by the mother and her partner via IVF at a licensed clinic. They both intended for the partner to be the legal father and provided the relevant consents prior to treatment. The HFEA 2008 came into force on the day that the mother started treatment and the relevant consents had, therefore, been provided on the wrong form. The clinic believed that the requirements of the new Act related to procedures carried out after the day it came into force and didn't realise they also applied on the day itself. The form also incorrectly stated that the mother's partner's sperm was used when in fact donor sperm had been used.

An application was made for a declaration of parentage pursuant to s 55A of the Family Law Act 1986.

A declaration of parentage was granted. The President applied the reasoning in Re A and Others (Human Fertilisation and Embryology) (Legal Parenthood: Written Consent) [2015] EWHC 2602 (Fam), and found that the old style form was as a matter of content and construction capable of operating as the two new forms introduced under the 2008 Act. Furthermore, there was nothing in the provisions of the 2008 Act which precluded a properly completed old style form from operating as consent for the purposes of s 37. The mistake in the form in relation to the sperm used was a simple clerical error and could be corrected as a matter of correction, without the need for rectification.

Neutral Citation Number: [2016] EWHC 791 (Fam)
Case number omitted

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
FAMILY DIVISION

Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
London
WC2A 2LL

Date: 12 April 2016


Before:

SIR JAMES MUNBY
PRESIDENT OF THE FAMILY DIVISION

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In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008
(Case I)

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Miss Deirdre Fottrell QC and Miss Marisa Allman (instructed by Graysons) for the applicant
Miss Sarah Morgan QC (instructed by Goodman Ray) for the child’s guardian

Hearing date: 6 April 2016

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Approved Judgment

I direct that pursuant to CPR PD 39A para 6.1 no official shorthand note shall be taken of this Judgment and that copies of this version as handed down may be treated as authentic.
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SIR JAMES MUNBY PRESIDENT OF THE FAMILY DIVISION
This judgment was handed down in open court

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