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High Court grants parental order to US same sex couple

The High Court has granted a parental order to a same sex couple from the US who conceived a child through a surrogacy clinic in India.

In Re A and B, the male partners had met and lived together in California, before moving to the UK because civil partnerships were legal in this country and they were interested in raising a family in a tolerant society. The pair now run a business together, payUK taxes and have leave to remain in the country.

The men entered a surrogacy arrangement with an Indian woman via the surrogacy clinic. One of the couple was the biological father of the child, via an anonymous egg donor.

On their return to the UK, they applied for a parental order under section 54 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act. Such orders transfer parental responsibility from the birth mother, who is the legal mother under UK law.

Sitting in the Family Division, Mrs Justice Theis considered the partners’ ‘domicile’(the country in which they were legal permanent residents). She concluded that they had adequately demonstrated that they had permanently left the US and had no intention of returning there.

The couple’s care of the child was positively assessed and there no concerns. Mrs Justice Theis granted the parental order, saying a stable and secure  legal relationship with the couple was in the child’s best interests.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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