In re L (A Minor) (Commercial Surrogacy): FD 8 Dec 2010

The child had been born in Illinois as a result of a commercial surrogacy arrangement which would have been unlawful here. The parents applied for a parental order under the 2008 Act.
Held: The order was made, but in doing so he court had to give retrospective approval to the payments. Hedley J emphasised that the consequence of statutory developments is that ‘welfare is no longer merely the Court’s first consideration but becomes its paramount consideration.’
Hedley J said: ‘It has to be accepted that in implementing the new 2008 Act, Parliament must be taken to have had in mind the accumulated jurisprudence under the 1990 Act. It is therefore significant that, with one material exception, section 54 of the 2008 Act reproduces section 30 of the 1990 Act. The exception is the widening of the categories of those who may apply and the making of transitional provisions for those who have only become entitled to apply on the coming into force of the 2008 Act. It necessarily follows, with one significant change (relating to welfare), that the law in respect of parental orders is not affected by the 2008 Act save as is noted above.
The significant change in the 2008 Act other than the enlargement of the scope of applicants relates to the welfare test. The effect of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Parental Orders) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/985) is to import into section 54 applications the provisions of section 1 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 . . What has changed, however, is that welfare is no longer merely the court’s first consideration but becomes its paramount consideration.
The effect of that must be to weight the balance between public policy considerations and welfare . . decisively in favour of welfare. It must follow that it will only be in the clearest case of the abuse of public policy that the court will be able to withhold an order if otherwise welfare considerations support its making.’
Hedley J
[2010] EWHC 3146 (Fam), [2011] 1 FLR 1423, [2011] Fam Law 241, [2011] 2 WLR 1006, [2011] 1 Fam 106
Adoption and Children Act 2002 1, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008
Cited by:
CitedRe IJ (A Child) (Foreign Surrogacy Agreement Parental Order) FD 19-Apr-2011
The court gave reasons for making a parental order under the 2008 Act in favour of the applicants where a child had been born under surrogacy arrangements which were lawful in the Ukraine where he was born, but would have been unlawful here because . .
CitedIn re A (A Minor) FD 8-Jul-2011
An application was made in care proceedings for an order restricting publication of information about the family after the deaths of two siblings of the child subject to the application. The Sun and a local newspaper had already published stories . .
CitedA v P (Surrogacy: Parental Order: Death of Applicant) FD 8-Jul-2011
M applied for a parental order under the 2008 Act. The child had been born through a surrogacy arrangement in India, which was lawful there, but would have been unlawful here. The clinic could not guarantee a biological relationship with the child. . .
CitedD and L (Minors Surrogacy), Re FD 28-Sep-2012
The children had been born in India to a surrogate mother. The biological father and his civil partner sought a parental order. The mother could not be found to give her consent. She had been provided anonymously through a clinic.
Held: The . .
CitedIn re X (A Child) (Surrogacy: Time Limit) FD 3-Oct-2014
Extension of Time for Parental Order
The court considered the making of a parental order in respect of a child through surrogacy procedures outside the time limits imposed by the 2008 Act. The child had been born under Indian surrogacy laws. The commissioning parents (now the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 05 March 2021; Ref: scu.430398