UK parental order granted to parents of surrogate child born in India

Posted by Laura Bennett on
The High Court has ruled that a child born in India through a surrogacy arrangement should be brought to the UK and that the 'commissioning couple' should be named as the child's legal parents.  The surrogate mother had given her consent to the couple being named as such.  The child is now approaching his second birthday. 

A Parental Order must usually be made within six months of a child being born of a surrogacy arrangement.  However, this case was complicated by the fact that the commissioning father, who was the biological father, was not a British citizen but had lived in the UK with his wife, who is a British citizen, since 2009.  The commissioning mother was not able to carry a child and so the decision had been made to use a surrogate.  The commissioning couple were not successful in applying for a British passport for the child after he was born, nor even in obtaining leave for him to enter the country, and so for the past two years he has been living with a member of his father's family in India. 

Mrs Justice Pauffley found that there was significant evidence to show that the making of a Parental Order would be in the child's best interests.  She noted that the couple had had to make a heartbreaking decision to leave the child in the care of the father's family in India to satisfy the father's own immigration criteria. 

This case serves to highlight the fact that it is important to seek legal advice from a solicitor specializing in Immigration law in addition to a solicitor specializing in Family law before entering into an international surrogacy arrangement to avoid significant difficulties after the child is born. 

As a multi-service law firm, Blake Morgan are able to offer legal advice to clients on both Family and Immigration law issues.

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Laura is a Senior Solicitor in the Family team based in Oxford.

Laura Bennett
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