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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

07 DEC 2015

Re Z (Foreign Surrogacy: Allocation of Work: Guidance on Parental Order Reports) [2015] EWFC 90

Re Z (Foreign Surrogacy: Allocation of Work: Guidance on Parental Order Reports) [2015] EWFC 90
(Family Court, Russell J, 16 November 2015)

Private law children – Surrogacy – Agreement in India – Delay in proceedings for parental orders – Allocation of cases – Parental order report

Parental orders were granted in respect of twins born in India pursuant to a commercial surrogacy agreement.

The British citizens entered into a surrogacy agreement in India. Twin girls were born to the surrogate in 2014 and applications were made for parental orders 3 months later. However, the children did not leave India until a year after their birth due to difficulties in obtaining travel documents for the children. The case had not been allocated to a specialist High Court judge and it was claimed that this failure had increased the delay in proceedings.

In giving judgment and granting the parental orders, Russell J gave guidance on the allocation of cases in international surrogacy proceedings including all applications for a parental order relating to children born outside the UK under s 54 of the HFEA 2008 must be allocated to a High Court judge; in completing a parental order report, the reporter must meet the child with the applications in order to properly assess the child's welfare; the only circumstances in which this requirement could be waived was if there was already adequate evidence or if there were compelling and exceptional reasons based on the child's welfare which precluded such a meeting.

The only occasions in which such a meeting is not required is when there is already adequate independent evidence to satisfy the matter or if there are 'compelling and exceptional reasons based on the child's welfare' which preclude such a meeting.

Neutral Citation Number: [2015] EWFC 90
Case No: BM14P08868

IN THE FAMILY COURT SITTING AT THE ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE
IN THE MATTER OF THE HUMAN FERTILISATION AND EMBRYOLOGY ACT 2008 section 54
AND IN THE MATTER OF L & M (Twins born on 5th May 2014)


Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
London
WC2A 2LL

Date: 16/11/2015

Before:

MS JUSTICE RUSSELL

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Between:

XZ & ZZ
Applicants

- and -

Mrs Y
1st Respondent
and
L & M (Children) by their guardian
2nd & 3rd Respondents
and
Cafcass Legal (acting as Advocate to the Court)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Kathryn Cronin (instructed by Goodman Ray) for the Applicants
Tracy Lakin (instructed by Barbara Carter) for the 2nd & 3rd Respondents (By their guardian Ms Jennie Dawe)
Penny Logan (of Cafcass Legal) acting as Advocate to the Court
The 1st Respondent did not attend and was not represented

Hearing dates: 8th July 2015
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Judgment

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