Gay couple who ‘bought’ three babies in six months declared legal parents
The couple were accused of lying about how much they paid their children’s surrogate mothers.
A gay couple who paid surrogate mothers £40,000 to have three babies in six months have been declared the legal parents of their children.
The couple’s application to be recognised as the children’s legal parents was upheld by the judge, after they lied about how much they paid the women – who they met online in a Facebook forum.
UK law does not allow babies to be bought and sold and surrogate mothers can only be paid “reasonable expenses”.
Despite this fact, the men made no effort to keep a record of such expenses, paying one mother up to £15,000.
When quizzed about the payments by authorities, the couple tried to conceal how much they paid the women – who were legally forbidden to make a profit.
The pair’s dishonesty “raised questions about their attitude to defrauding the authorities, and their good faith”, said High Court judge Ms Justice Russell.
Taking on three tiny infants so close in age cast doubt on if the couple had really thought about the children and the responsibilities of “building a family”, she added.
However, after hearing evidence from the children’s court-appointed guardian – who praised the “couple’s excellent” parenting – the judge ruled the youngsters should stay with their fathers.
The men take “enormous pride and joy” in their children and are “completely attentive fathers”.
“It seems like it is what these gentlemen were put on this earth to do,” she added.
The couple had maintained “warm and close relationships” with the surrogate mothers throughout their pregnancies, added the judge.
Ms Russell went on to condemn the online “surrogacy market”, saying there was “no going rate” for babies.
Last year, a gay couple in the UK won a battle to have a baby girl conceived through surrogacy returned to them – after the mother claimed she did not know the men were gay before she gave birth.