AB v CD: FD 24 May 2013

The Applicant AB, a lesbian woman aged 37, applied for contact to twin boys, E and F, aged 3. In making that application, she described herself as the boys’ ‘parent’; she ws so defined on the boys’ birth certificates. For the first 17 months of their lives, she fulfilled a parental role, as an integral part of the boys’ family with her then partner, and the mother of the boys, CD. CD opposed the contact application, disputing that AB was the boys’ ‘parent’, and inviting the court to declare in line with her contention that AB is not a parent, under section 55A of the Family Law Act 1986.
Held: The court pointed to the lamentable shortcomings in a clinic identified only as clinic Z which, in the judge’s view, had fallen ‘far short’ of its obligations and which had failed to comply with the conditions of the licence granted to it by the HFEA.
Both partners had signed a Form IC before the treatment, but the statutory consent notices ‘must be in forms WP and PP.’ Moreover, he said, the Form IC ‘did not purport to establish the grant of legal rights’. ‘In the following respects I find that the clinic did not comply with its licence conditions in providing treatment to AB and CD in that:
(i) The clinic had not provided sufficient information to both parties to enable them to make informed decisions about parentage issues at the time of the treatment.
(ii) The clinic did not provide the parties with an opportunity to receive proper counselling about the step proposed prior to treatment.
(iii) Inadequate records have been kept of the treatment and the delivery of the WP/PP forms.’
Cobb J
[2013] EWHC 1418 (Fam), [2013] 2 FLR 1357
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, Family Law Act 1986 55A
England and Wales
CitedThe Ampthill Peerage Case HL 1977
There was a dispute about the legitimacy of an heir to the title. New evidence had been discovered after the trial.
Held: The House considered whether a new trial of an action might be ordered after discovery of new evidence: ‘The law knows, . .
CitedIn Re R (Parental responsibility: IVF baby); D (A Child), Re HL 12-May-2005
The parents had received IVF treatment together, but had separated before the child was born. The mother resisted an application by the father for a declaration of paternity.
Held: The father’s appeal failed. The Act made statutory provision . .
CitedIn Re G (A Minor) (Interim Care Order: Residential Assessment); G (Children), In Re (Residence: Same Sex Partner) HL 26-Jul-2006
The parties had been a lesbian couple each with children. Each now was in a new relationship. One registered the two daughters of the other at a school now local to her but without first consulting the birth mother, who then applied for residence . .

Cited by:
CitedIn the matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 ; A and Others FD 11-Sep-2015
The court was asked: ‘who, in law, is or are the parent(s) of a child born as a result of treatment carried out under this legislation’
Held: The court pointed again to the failures to keep proper records within several fertility clinics. . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 24 February 2021; Ref: scu.510086