Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Login
Advanced Search

Search for
BioNews

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook


The Fertility Show


 

Surrogate awarded supervised contact with child

28 November 2016

By Antony Blackburn-Starza

Appeared in BioNews 879

A surrogate who lost a legal battle to keep her child has been granted supervised contact by the Family Court, although her attempt to regain custody has failed.

The woman, who is also the child's genetic mother, acted as a surrogate for a couple in a private arrangement but changed her mind during the pregnancy and sought custody over the child after the birth in 2015. However, the High Court ordered that the child, a baby girl, should live with the intended parents, where she has now lived since she was three months old.

Earlier this month, dismissing an application to have the case reheard, Mr Justice Colman said that the child and her half-brother, with whom she lived, needed 'some certainty and some predictability' in their lives. He added that to enquire further into where the child should live would be 'extraordinarily worrying and potentially damaging' to the parents.

However, in a separate decision heard in the days afterwards, Justice Colman did approve an order agreed on by all the parties that the surrogate and her sister should have supervised direct contact with the child twice a year, along with indirect contact in the form of an exchange of letters and photos.

'In my view it would do a great disservice to the longer term needs and welfare of the child to cut out now any further direct contact with her birth family, for the reason only of the events, however destabilising, of the last year or so,' he said.

Justice Colman noted that after the initial rulings against her and the subsequent failed attempt to appeal, the surrogate had campaigned at the homes of people connected – and 'several of them quite unconnected' – to the case, including the former Prime Minister David Cameron and the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby. She was also convicted of harassing the judge who presided over the initial hearings, Judge Singleton QC.

Although the surrogate had initially been granted a period of supervised contact, this broke down and there had been no contact between the parties for almost a year before the latest court hearings. However, since then Mr Justice Colman noted that the surrogate has said she has now accepted that the child will live with the intended parents and will stop the protesting and campaigning.

Noting that the parents were 'sceptical' and 'remain very scared of what the birth mother may do', he said that if the surrogate does choose to protest again then it would jeopardise the contact order – 'probably forever'.

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

10 April 2017 - by Jennifer Willows 
A decision granting custody of a baby to a surrogate has been upheld by the Court of Appeal...
19 December 2016 - by Ryan Ross 
The government has welcomed a House of Lords debate on surrogacy law reform, promising to consider whether the statute needs to be updated...

07 November 2016 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
A surrogate has refused to give her consent for the parents of twins to become the children's legal parents, even though she and her husband are not seeking any active involvement in the children's upbringing...
04 July 2016 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
A surrogate has been allowed to keep a baby after refusing to hand the child over to the intended parents after birth...
16 May 2016 - by Ryan Ross 
A same-sex couple have won a custody battle in Thailand against their surrogate after she allegedly refused to allow them to leave the country with their baby because they were not 'an ordinary couple'...
11 May 2015 - by Ana Ilic 
A legal battle over the custody of a baby girl born through a disputed surrogacy arrangement has resulted in an order to remove the child from her mother and place her into the care of her father and his partner....
31 January 2011 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
A UK surrogate who changed her mind about handing over a baby to a couple has been allowed to keep the child, the High Court has ruled....

HAVE YOUR SAY
Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


- click here to enquire about using this story.

Published by the Progress Educational Trust

CROSSING FRONTIERS

Moving the Boundaries of Human Reproduction

Public Conference
London
8 December 2017

Speakers include

Professor Azim Surani

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge

Sally Cheshire

Professor Guido Pennings

Katherine Littler

Professor Allan Pacey

Dr Sue Avery

Professor Richard Anderson

Dr Elizabeth Garner

Dr Jacques Cohen

Dr Anna Smajdor

Dr Andy Greenfield

Vivienne Parry

Dr Helen O'Neill

Dr César Palacios-González

Philippa Taylor

Fiona Fox

Sarah Norcross


BOOK HERE

Good Fundraising Code

Become a Friend of PET HERE and give the Progress Educational Trust a regular donation