Surrogate mother ordered to hand baby over to gay parents
A court has ordered that a surrogate mother hand over the baby to its intended gay parents.
The mother was told on Friday that the 18-month-old’s needs “would be best met by living with a genetic parent”.
The baby was conceived using the sperm from one of the gay couple and an egg from a donor in Spain.
The fertilised egg was transferred to the surrogate mother in September 2015, according to the Telegraph.
This meant that one of the gay parents was genetically related to the child and neither the surrogate, nor her male partner were related genetically to the baby.
After meeting online, the surrogate had signed an agreement with the gay couple more than two years ago.
The surrogate had given birth to the baby in April 2016, but did not tell the gay couple for more than a week after the birth.
She said shortly after giving birth that she wanted to keep the baby.
But a ruling by the Family Division of the High Court in London, stated that the surrogate mother should hand over the child.
Mrs Justice Theis said that the gay couple were in a better position to “negotiate” future challenges.
The case came to light after the surrogate and her husband had appealed.
Nobody was named in court documents in order to protect the child.
The case was looked at by three Court of Appeal judges in a public hearing in October.
The senior judges upheld the ruling on Friday, agreeing that the original ruling was not intended as “punitive” towards the surrogate and her husband.
In addition, Lord Justice McFarlane said the child’s genetic relationships were considered the most important in deciding where the child should live.
The justices said the surrogate and her husband had the right “to change their minds”, but that didn’t equate to them keeping the child.
But the surrogate and her husband remain the legal parents of the child as no adoption or parental order has been made.
But Justice McFarlane scolded the gay couple for generating publicity around the case.
He said: “We were informed that publicity about the case had, most unwisely and unaccountably, been generated by [the men].
Adding that the surrogate mother and her husband “were understandably distressed by this clear breach of agreements that had been made.”
Continuing: “At the invitation of all parties, we made an order restraining [the men] from generating further publicity about this matter.”