A married British couple have been declared the legal parents of child born in Russia to a surrogate mother.
In Re C, the child had been conceived via in vitro fertilisation using sperm from one of the couple and eggs from an anonymous donor. The surrogate mother was a married Russian. The couple were present at the child’s birth in Moscow, and had cared for the boy ever since. Before the couple brought the child back to the UK, they were registered on his birth certificate with the birth mother’s consent, thereby becoming his legal parents under Russian law.
Back in the UK, the couple applied for a ‘parental order’, granting them the legal status of parents in this country. They were successful, Mrs Justice Theis concluding that the child’s best interests lay in a secure lifelong the couple who were already his de facto parents – they had already secured a residence order, allowing the child to live with them. Without a parental order, the child would be left in a ‘legal vacuum’.