Assisted reproduction is complicated and it is not risk free. It can create legal and practical issues, including difficulties or a dispute about:
Assisted reproduction is complex and multifaceted depending upon the method of conception, your relationship or marital status, the level of agreement between the parties involved and the jurisdiction where conception takes place. As such, it can create diverse unforeseen legal, emotional and wider issues when seeking to build a family through assisted reproduction. There are also many situations when assisted reproduction law disputes can arise and specialist legal advice and representation is required, including:
- Expert assisted reproduction law advice to support a claim for damages following medical negligence.
- To resolve difficulties or a dispute about importing or exporting eggs, sperm or embryos for fertility treatment (e.g. issues with consent, payments, storage term, application to the HFEA for a Special Direction).
- To resolve difficulties or a dispute about procurement of eggs or sperm (e.g. following unexpected illness or injury).
- To resolve difficulties about storage of eggs, sperm and embryos (e.g. terms of consent, varying/withdrawing consent, destruction).
- To resolve difficulties or a dispute about use of eggs, sperm or embryos in fertility treatment (e.g. following relationship breakdown or change in personal situation).
- To resolve a dispute about posthumous conception fertility treatment (e.g. absence or problems with HFEA Consent Forms).
- To resolve a dispute about legal parentage and parental responsibility for a child conceived through assisted reproduction (e.g. concerning a non-birth parent, a co-parent or surrogate).
- To resolve a dispute with an ex-partner, parent, known donor, co-parent or surrogate about a child conceived through assisted reproduction.
- To resolve a dispute or issues about the care, upbringing and legal status of a child born through assisted reproduction (e.g. a child arrangements order, a parental responsibility order, a specific issue order or a wardship order).
Need an assisted reproduction lawyer?
Our expert assisted reproduction lawyer services help you identify, understand and navigate the legal issues, risks, outcomes and disputes in the short, medium and longer term. We provide in-depth and creative assisted reproduction law advice and solutions because we work at the forefront of rapidly developing assisted reproduction law, policy and practice in the UK. Our assisted reproduction law expertise spans the fertility, medical and family law sectors, enabling us to achieve the best outcome for you.
Our expert assisted reproduction lawyer Louisa Ghevaert is a co-author of medical reference book Reducing Risk in Fertility Treatment (First Edition, April 2015), contributing a specialist chapter entitled “Legal and Regulatory Risks to Patients: The UK Context” addressing legal and regulatory pitfalls faced by fertility patients.
Louisa Ghevaert, has since 2017, been a member of the International Egg Donation Stakeholder Advisory Group led by De Montfort University concerned with the future landscape of egg donation law and policy in the UK and Europe.
Since 2008, Louisa Ghevaert has dealt with many landmark and well known assisted reproduction dispute cases, including:
In 2009, Louisa Ghevaert successfully helped Melanie and Robert Gladwin save their frozen embryos from destruction and win a high profile last minute change to the law in relation to embryo storage.
In 2011, Louisa Ghevaert successfully helped Donna and Dean Marshall win a rare legal battle against their PCT for funding for IVF treatment on the NHS.
In 2012, Louisa Ghevaert represented Andrea Heywood, who aged 24, was denied NHS IVF funding by her local hospital authority for being too young.
In 2014, Louisa Ghevaert represented the intended biological father in a UK straight surrogacy dispute with his wife (who was neither the birth nor genetic mother) and the surrogate (a close friend) concerning a surrogate born child’s upbringing and parentage, In JP v LP & Ors  EWHC 595 (Fam).
In 2016, Louisa Ghevaert obtained a declaration of parentage in the High Court for a woman in a same-sex relationship for a child conceived through fertility treatment and sperm donation at a UK fertility clinic licensed by the HFEA. The HFEA Consent Form WP was missing from the clinic file which called the non-birth mother’s legal parentage into question, In the matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case V)  EWHC 2356 (Fam).
In 2017, Louisa Ghevaert’s expert evidence on surrogacy law resulted in a legal first when the High Court awarded a woman costs of £74,000 for UK altruistic surrogacy following medical negligence in XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust  EWHC 2318 (QB).
In 2018, Louisa Ghevaert successfully represented an intended mother in an international surrogacy and blended family law dispute concerning 2 surrogate born children (Indian surrogacy). This case marks a legal first in the legal status, rights and treatment of blended families in the UK following surrogacy, divorce, re-marriage, serious allegations of domestic violence and abuse, AB v CD, EF, GH & IL  EWHC 1590 (Fam).
In 2018, Louisa Ghevaert was part of the wife’s legal team in Y v A Healthcare NHS Trust & The HFEA & Z (by his litigation friend, The Official Solicitor)  EWCOP 18, and obtained a first-of-its kind judgement from the Court of Protection to extract and store sperm from a fatally injured man for use in posthumous fertility treatment.
Through 2018, 2019 and 2020, Louisa Ghevaert’s expert surrogacy, donor conception and fertility treatment law evidence in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court resulted in further legal rulings for a woman left infertile following a delay in detecting cancer in smear tests and biopsies, enabling for the first time recovery of damages of approximately £558,000 for commercial surrogacy, donor conception and fertility treatment in the US, XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust  EWCA Civ 2832 and Whittington Hospital NHS Trust v XX  UKSC 14.
Through 2021 and 2022, Louisa Ghevaert acted for male intended parents who conceived 3 children through egg donation, fertility treatment and surrogacy in an important legal ruling where the English High Court stepped in and granted parental orders due to complex international conflicts of law between the US (California & Oregon), Denmark and the UK which caused serious legal difficulties with the children’s legal parentage, citizenship and residence and resulted in the Danish authorities threatening to deport the children in Re X,Y and Z (Children: Parental Orders: Time Limit)  EWHC 198 (Fam),
How we can help
Our expert assisted reproduction lawyer services include:
- Legal packages.
- Bespoke legal advice tailored to your situation, needs and wishes.
- Preparation of legal documentation.
- Legal support and representation in assisted reproduction law proceedings in court.
Assisted reproduction dispute: eggs, sperm, embryos – general legal review
This provides initial expert legal advice on fertility law in the UK in the event of assisted reproduction difficulties or a dispute. It can encompass a range of issues, including:
- Difficulties or dispute about procurement of eggs, sperm, embryos.
- Difficulties or dispute about storage of eggs, sperm, embryos.
- Difficulties or dispute about use of eggs, sperm, embryos in fertility treatment.
- Legal and practical options (including day-to-day arrangements, negotiations, correspondence, legal documents, court proceedings).
- Answers legal and practical questions.
- Creates a tailored legal and practical action plan.
This consultation does not provide medical advice. It only provides initial specialist advice on an assisted reproduction dispute, fertility and family law in the UK (and not law in other jurisdictions). This package does not include legal representation or advice in court proceedings or preparation of legal documents. Terms and conditions apply. For further legal advice and assistance consider our other legal packages and bespoke legal services.
If you require legal assistance or wish to discuss an assisted reproduction dispute contact us
+44 (0) 20 7965 8399
Bespoke legal services
We provide further tailored expert assisted reproduction law advice, support and representation concerning a assisted reproduction dispute including:
- Dispute about legal status for a child conceived through assisted reproduction
- Dispute about the care and upbringing of a child conceived through assisted reproduction
- Dispute about financial responsibility for a child conceived through assisted reproduction
- A surrogacy dispute
- A dispute about posthumous conception
- An expert witness legal dispute (e.g. a claim for fertility treatment, surrogacy & donor conception in medical negligence proceedings).