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.
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