COURT ORDERS PARENTAGE OF PARTNER OF WOMAN WHO GAVE BRITH TO BABY, FOLLOWING IVF

Case: An application to recognise the legal parentage of a child born via IVF, Case V (Human Fertilisation And Embryology Act 2008) [2016] EWHC 2356 (Fam) 30th September 2016

The case concerned an application by X to be declared a legal parent of Z. Her same-sex partner, Y, who had given birth to Z following IVF, supported the application.

The court gave consideration to the application and the facts within it and found as follows:

  1. The treatment leading to Z’s birth was undertaken and seen through ‘with full knowledge’ by both X and Y
  2. From the beginning of the IVF treatment, it was the intention of X and Y that X would also be a legal parent of Z. Both were aware of the requirement to sign relevant consent forms, for which  they believed they had done so.
  3. The belief by both parties that X was the other parent of Z was confirmed and consistent throughout the pregnancy and this also continued once Z was born.
  4. X and Y, acting in good faith and believing with legal entitlement, registered Z’s birth with both parties on the birth certificate, consistent with their belief that Z was their joint child.
  5. A period of sometime later, the clinic contacted X and Y, alerting them that something may be ‘wrong’.

The Judge added ‘there can be no suggestion that any consent given was not fully informed consent’.

The problem then was regarding the parental forms the couple had signed.   Although X’s Form had been submitted, the fertility clinic could find no Form signed by Y relating to her IVF treatment. The Court was satisfied that the records ‘sufficiently evidenced’ a timely, consenting Form, which had been mislaid.

The Judge found that both parties gave the relevant consent, therefore X was entitled to the declaration of parentage.

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