Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division gave judgment earlier this week awarding parental orders to a married British couple to secure the legal status of their two children in their care following an international surrogacy arrangement in India. The two children were conceived with two different Indian surrogate mothers using an anonymous egg donor and the intended father’s sperm.
The couple paid approximately £27,400 in medical and care costs, including sums of approximately £3,000 to each of the Indian surrogate mothers. The baby boy and girl were born within days of each other and are now just over a year old. Sir Nicholas ruled that the couple had acted in good faith and the amount paid to each surrogate mother was not so disproportionate that the grant of parental orders “would be an affront to public policy”. He authorised the payments made to the two Indian surrogate mothers, notwithstanding the public policy restriction against commercial surrogacy in the UK on the basis that it was in the children’s best interests to be brought up by their intended parents.
This legal judgment is the second to be published by the English court this year involving British couples who have entered into an international surrogacy arrangement in India. It follows a handful of other published cases involving British couples who have entered into international surrogacy arrangements in certain US surrogacy friendly states and the Ukraine and who successfully secured parental orders for their surrogate born children.