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Surrogate mother not allowed to bring up own daughter, court rules (20 April 2015)

Date: 20/04/2015
Duncan Lewis, Child Care Solicitors, Surrogate mother not allowed to bring up own daughter, court rules

A court has ruled that a surrogate mother must give up the baby she conceived for another couple for adoption, after a judge decided that allowing the mother to keep her baby would traumatise her other daughter too much.

The surrogacy arrangement fell through when it was discovered the intended mother of the baby had already had three children taken into care, the Sun newspaper reports.

The 28-year-old birth mother said that she broke down when the court ruled she could not keep her baby or even visit her.

“They said if she was to come back to me it would affect the daughter I already have – it would get to her emotionally,” she told the Sun.

“But I couldn't stop crying – I just broke down. I would have loved to have brought her up.”

The woman – from Newcastle-upon-Tyne – had refused to sign a parental control order after she realised that the couple she had met online and had acted as a surrogate for had lied about where they lived and their background.

They had disappeared the day after the baby had been handed over to them in 2013, the birth mother said. However, it took another year for the baby to be removed from their home in the northeast of England.

A court ruled they could not keep the child – but then decided that adoption would be in the best interests of the little girl, rather than hand her to her birth mother to bring up.

It is also reported that the couple she had acted as a surrogate for had also made allegations about her.

She said that she decided to give up her fight for her daughter after an appeal was rejected in March this year. The court has agreed that she can write to her daughter twice a year, however. She is currently expecting another baby.

However, she is calling for more transparency and CRB checks for parents who engage surrogate mothers to have children for them

“If you're going to bring a baby into the world for them, you should at least be able to find out about their background,” she said.

President of the Family Division of the Court in England and Wales, Sir James Munby has also called for more transparency in the family courts, which are closed courts in which the family and other parties mainly remain anonymous to protect the identity of the child at the centre of a case.

Courts can name local authorities involved in care proceedings but the details of cases are usually only made public in a written judgment published weeks or months after a ruling.

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