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Father allowed to adopt son his own mother carried after IVF (4 March 2015)

Date: 04/03/2015
Duncan Lewis, Child Care Solicitors, Father allowed to adopt son his own mother carried after IVF

A father whose own mother gave birth to his biological son has won the right to apply to adopt him, despite the fact the baby is also his brother.

The Daily Mail reports that the woman at the centre of the case helped her son become a father by carrying his child after IVF treatment using his sperm and a donor egg.

The father’s plans to have a child with another female relative collapsed and his own mother stepped in the help, the Family Division at the High Court was told.

A judge has ruled the unnamed father can now go ahead with an application o adopt the child as his own son – but family campaigners are calling for urgent reforms to prevent people abusing fertility law. It is believed to be the first time that a mother has carried her own son’s child after fertility treatment using his sperm.

The father of the child is in his twenties and lives alone – the court heard he wanted to be in a settled job and home before having a child so that he could support his son. The court also heard that he had wanted to have a child for “some considerable time” – but a female family member had dropped out of the arrangement for medical reasons.

The family had undergone counselling at a clinic licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) – and the plans for the father of the child to provide sperm for a donor egg that his own mother would carry were allowed to go ahead after “careful consideration”.

The baby was delivered full term and is now seven months old.

In court, Mrs Justice Theis said that, under the 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act – which governs surrogacy arrangements – the woman who carried the child was the legal mother and her husband was the child’s legal father because he had consented to the pregnancy.

The Act says that children born as a result of surrogacy should be handed over to two parents – and usually two people in an “enduring family arrangement”.

To hand a baby over to its father alone would under current law constitute a criminal offence – but Mrs Justice Theis ruled that, as the baby’s biological father is also legally his brother, the adoption would not break the law.

Social workers are also supporting the adoption and claim that the process would strengthen the bonds that father and child already share. The baby is said to have a secure attachment to his biological father.

The surrogate mother and her husband consider the baby to be their grandson – and want him to know about the circumstances of his birth when he is older.

The baby’s biological father also wishes his son to know about his birth circumstances and that he is a “much wanted” child.

The judge said that the family’s closeness was “a critical feature” of the case.

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