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Surrogacy parents win court orders

19 December 2011

Sir Nicholas Wall, president of the Family Division, has made parental orders in favour of a couple who obtained two children by paying surrogate mothers in India, despite admitting that it was unclear how much money the surrogates received and what was covered.

The couple paid a clinic in Delhi over 2m rupees or £27,400 to arrange for surrogates to have the children for them, using the father’s sperm and eggs from the same anonymous woman.

Giving judgment in In the matter of X and Y children [2011] EWHC 3147 (Fam), Sir Nicholas said that, although Mr and Mrs A had children from previous relationships, they spent five years unsuccessfully trying to have their own baby before considering surrogacy.

Mr and Mrs A explored surrogacy via a British agency but were told they would have to wait three years before being considered because of the shortage of surrogates.

“Mr and Mrs A considered surrogacy in the United States, Georgia and the Ukraine but eventually decided to use a fertility clinic in India,” Sir Nicholas said.

“The specialist there, Dr S, had worked at reputable fertility clinics in the UK and was a member of the British Fertility Association.” Sir Nicholas said it remained “unclear precisely what sums the surrogate mothers actually received and what the monies paid to them actually covered”.

However, he said that the child’s welfare throughout its life must be the court’s “paramount consideration”.

Counsel for Mr and Mrs A argued that they were acting in good faith, and the payments made were “not so disproportionate that the granting of parental orders would be an affront to public policy”.

Sir Nicholas said he accepted these arguments and made the parental orders asked for.

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