Court dispenses with parental consent in adoption case with surrogacy background

Friday 15 March 2024

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This is the first reported decision where the court dispensed with parental consent in an adoption case with a surrogacy background.

The child, ‘N’, was born as a result of a surrogacy arrangement in 2005. The child’s biological father (but not legal father) and his wife wanted to adopt N, as it was not possible to obtain a parental order with no consent forthcoming for this.

N, now 18 years old, had been brought up by the applicants since he was 18 months old. N considered the applicants to be his parents in all senses of the word, although in law they had no status as his parents. N supported the application. The respondent parents; the surrogate mother and her husband, opposed the application for adoption.

The local authority, who provided an adoption report into the suitability of the applicants to adopt, also supported the application. The court dispensed with the respondent parents’ consent on welfare grounds. This meant that the court decided N's welfare needs require an adoption order to be made, even if his legal parents did not agree.

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