AB v CD, EF, GH & IJ  EWHC 1590 (Fam) is a first-of-its-kind case, in which Louisa Ghevaert acted for the intended mother of twins born in India in 2010. The Court had to grapple with legal status and identity of parents and children when families created through surrogacy encounter serious domestic violence, relationship breakdown, divorce and restructure by remarriage in the absence of parental orders.
AB v CD, EF, GH & IJ  highlights how the needs of modern families founded through assisted conception and surrogacy outstrip existing law in the UK. Ultimately in this case, the Court was unable to fully resolve the legal status of the twins, their biological parents, the Indian surrogate and her husband or the children’s stepfather.
Instead, the Court had to make practical arrangements to secure the day-to-day upbringing of the children in the care of their biological mother and their stepfather; arrangements shaped by the special needs of one of the children and serious findings of domestic violence against their biological father. The Court made the children wards of court and made child arrangements orders in favour of the biological mother and stepfather. It also made no order for contact between the children and their biological father, dismissed his application for parental responsibility and restricted the exercise of parental responsibility by the surrogate and her husband.
In doing so, the Court recognized that those arrangements ‘fall very short of the transformative effect of a parental order’.
You can read more about the case in an article co-written by Louisa Ghevaert in the September 201 edition of Family Law entitled “Anything but child’s play: surrogacy and thorny issues of identity, parenthood and status in modern families”.