A surrogate mother who tried to keep her baby has been told to give the child to the intended gay parents. Senior judges ruled on Friday that the needs of the 18-month-old ‘would be best met by living with a genetic parent’.
The child was conceived using sperm from one of the men and an egg from a Spanish donor, which was transferred to the surrogate mother in September, 2015, the Telegraph reports
It meant that one of the gay dads is genetically related to the child, but the birth mother and father are not. The men met her online and they signed a surrogacy agreement more than two years ago. Their agreement fell apart when the surrogate mother and her husband announced they wanted to keep the child shortly after the birth and they did not inform the dads about the baby’s arrival for more than a week after the birth in April.
The two men took legal action and a judge last year analysed the dispute at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London. Mrs Justice Theis decided that the child should live with the men. It was concluded that the two men were better placed to ‘negotiate’ future challenges.
Three Court of Appeal judges analysed the case at a public hearing in October, and upheld the ruling. They said the original decision which was not ‘punitive’ towards the surrogate mother and her husband. Lord Justice McFarlane said the child’s genetic relationships and welfare were the most important factors for deciding where the child should live.
We were informed that publicity about the case had, most unwisely and unaccountably, been generated by (the men),’ he said in a ruling on the appeal. ‘(The surrogate mother and her husband) were understandably distressed by this clear breach of agreements that had been made.’ He added: ‘At the invitation of all parties, we made an order restraining (the men) from generating further publicity about this matter.’