fbpx
Chevron pointing up icon

Fertility law and parenthood following assisted reproduction

Fertility Lawyers London

"Mark Freedman is a real heavyweight litigator who has dealt with some very significant cases."

The Legal 500 2019

Fertility law and parenthood following assisted reproduction

Fertility Law is at the cutting edge of legal practice as increasing numbers of families embark on alternative ways of having children. In addition to surrogacy, families are seeking to use donor gametes (either sperm or eggs) and frozen embryos or seeking co-parents.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 introduced important changes both in surrogacy law and in relation to who the law recognises as a ‘parent of a child’. The Act enables civil partners or couples who are neither, married or civil partners, whether same sex or heterosexual, to become a child’s legal parent even though they are not biologically related to that child. It is important that the strict requirements of the Act are met before legal parenthood can be acquired by a non-biological parent and there are differing requirements depending upon whether a couple are married, civil partners, or not.

Anest represented one of the Applicants A & Ors (Human Fertilisation And Embryology Act 2008) [2015] EWHC 2602 (Fam) (11 September 2015). In this case the President of the Family Division was asked to grant declarations of parentage where couples had received fertility treatment using donor sperm at clinics licensed by the HFEA. Audits revealed anomalies in the records held at the clinics. Patients received letters advising them that they considered the partner, who had been registered as the parent of the child, not to be the legal parent of their child. The patients were advised that their partner would need to adopt their child. Anest advised her clients to apply for a declaration of parentage, this was subsequently granted in that specific case. As a result of this case the HFEA indicated that they “will review the action we have already taken, alongside the Judge’s recommendations, to minimise the risk of this happening again.”

Anest also represented Mr H in the leading case of Re M [2013] EWHC 1910 (Fam) in which a “sperm donor” who provided sperm through natural insemination was held to be the legal father of the child. The case confirmed that if the requirements for conferring legal parenthood are not met and the child is conceived through informal artificial insemination then the common law principles apply and the donor will be the legal parent. In the case of married couples (and by inference civil partners) it is possible for legal parenthood to be changed through artificial insemination which is not provided as part of licensed treatment. The case defined the consent to be provided by the husband/ civil partner for the purposes of conferring parenthood under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008.
We are able to provide legal advice to intended co-parents, including providing advice about parental responsibility, and issues for consideration in any co-parenting agreements.

An issue which the Courts are increasingly asked to determine is the child’s relationship with the person who is not the legal parent, (either because the requirements for conferring legal parenthood were not met or because the biological parent is not the legal parent). The Court has determined that it is possible for a biological parent who is not a legal parent to apply for permission to apply for contact and likewise a psychological, but not legal parent has been able to apply for permission to apply for an order.

The child’s welfare is always paramount in cases where the Court is asked to determine child arrangements, such as with whom a child should live and with whom a child should spend time with (formerly residence and contact).


How we can help you

Naomi Angell and Anest Mathias can provide:

  • Advice to intended birth parents, co-parents or donors on how the law applies and on what legal rights they will acquire on the birth of a baby or by subsequent agreement or court application.
  • Advice about parental responsibility.
  • Advice and representation of any patient, their partner or their former partner who has received notification from a clinic advising that there are anomalies in the records regarding parentage.
  • Representation of any party involved in a dispute over a child’s parentage.
  • Advice and representation on family breakdown.


Your next step

If you are considering fertility treatment using donated gametes contact either Naomi or Anest for a confidential chat. After noting specific details of your circumstances they will be able to provide you with further information and options available to you. They will also give you an indication of the process, what will be required of you and the possible time frames involved.

Naomi Angell is ranked as a leading individual in independent legal directories Chambers & Partners and Legal 500. Chambers describes Naomi as “the first person whom applicant adopters should go to ”and as “hugely experienced, calm and a good listener.”

Speak to a Lawyer

Accreditations

Latest Family Law News


Osbornes Law Osbornes Law @osborneslawyers We are delighted that we have two finalists @osborneslawyers. Congratulations to William Ford and Edward Taylor. Lo… https://t.co/tiLvLbMbD3 8 hours ago
Osbornes Law Osbornes Law @osborneslawyers RT @limblessassoc: Need to get in touch? You can find all relevant contact details by following this link ➡️ https://t.co/iET9u1xOYM https:… 1 day ago
Osbornes Law Osbornes Law @osborneslawyers RT @HeadwayUK: It's nearly time to put on your #HatsForHeadway! 🎩👑⛑👒🧢 Think you can beat last year's winners? Remember to donate £2 and po… 1 day ago
Osbornes Law Osbornes Law @osborneslawyers RT @HeadwayUK: All this week we're focusing on brain injury-related fatigue for #ABIWeek. However fatigue is just one of the many possible… 2 days ago
Osbornes Law Osbornes Law @osborneslawyers RT @PriorSteph: Food is fuel - lack of energy and exhaustion will lead to nursing errors. As a former nurse I find this really sad. @osborn 2 days ago
Osbornes Law Osbornes Law @osborneslawyers Congratulations Gordon @DigbyBrownLLP from the PI team @osborneslawyers. Another year of challenges ahead! https://t.co/nxRKRc4ZO7 2 days ago
Osbornes Law Osbornes Law @osborneslawyers RT @limblessassoc: How important is the work we do for #amputees? Well we asked and these are the answers we got! https://t.co/NWkf6vYM7w 2 days ago
Osbornes Law Osbornes Law @osborneslawyers RT @APIL: Medical reports for low-value road traffic claims should be free to all injured people regardless of whether liability is admitte… 2 days ago
Osbornes Law Osbornes Law @osborneslawyers RT @HeadwayELondon: Each year more than 40,000 Londoners are admitted to hospital with a brain injury (enough to fill the O2 TWICE) - for s… 2 days ago
Osbornes Law Osbornes Law @osborneslawyers RT @HeadwayELondon: Look out for serious #ABIWeek content as we kick off a right busy week of events, stories & fun! Want to know exactly w… 3 days ago
Osbornes Law Osbornes Law @osborneslawyers RT @HeadwayELondon: We're just 4 days away from our epic El Capitan challenge - where our members will be climbing 1000m for #braininjury -… 5 days ago
Osbornes Law Osbornes Law @osborneslawyers RT @CivilLitTweet: I have come to the fee earners discussion clinic with @EmmaJFerguson & Laura #APILAC2019 https://t.co/k3agXMJlgM 6 days ago
Trustpilot

Introducing Your Family Law Legal Team

Osbornes has an experienced team of specialist family-law lawyers to assist with your case / situation

arrow pointing up

Camden

Livery House, 9 Pratt Street, London NW1 0AE
Tel: 020 7485 8811 Fax: 020 7485 5660
DX Number 57053 Camden Town

Hampstead

28A Hampstead High Street, Hampstead, NW3 1QA
Tel: 020 7485 8811 Fax: 020 7485 5660

Contact a Lawyer

Enter your details below to receive a call from Osbornes:


Speak To A Lawyer

Speak

To a

Lawyer