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Woman in same-sex relationship granted declaration of parentage

A woman in a same-sex couple relationship has been granted a declaration of parentage of her partner’s son, after initially being granted only a step-parent adoption order.

The child was born in 2014, following IVF treatment with an anonymous sperm donor leading to the successful pregnancy of his biological mother.

The mother was in a same-sex relationship. When her son was born, her partner was told by a registrar she could not be named as a parent and instead granted a step-parent adoption order.

Three years later, the mother gave birth to a second child, and she and her partner were registered as the legal parents

They discovered that the partner could also have been registered as the son’s legal parent and applied for a declaration of parentage.

They needed the High Court to use its inherent jurisdiction to revoke the adoption order.

The court ruled in their favour. The mother and her partner were entitled to be declared as parents.

The registrar had been wrong to act on the basis of the Family Law Act 1986. At the time of the son’s birth in 2014, the partner was entitled to be named as second parent under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008.

It was plainly in the son’s best interests for the step-parent adoption order to be revoked.

All the requirements of the 2008 Act had been met at the time of the son’s birth, and both mother and partner were entitled to be registered as legal parents.

Case citations: Osborne v Arnold [2022] EWHC 1982 (Admin) [2022] 7 WLUK 375 Judge MacDonald J

If you would like more information or advice about the issues raised in this article, or any aspect of family law please contact our expert legal team on 02080040065, by email at hello@southgate.co.uk or using the form below.

The contents of this article are general information only. The information in this article is not legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should obtain independent expert advice from qualified solicitors such as those within our firm.

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