UK surrogacy laws require automatically naming the surrogate mother’s husband as the father on a child’s birth certificate. A 6-year-old who was born via surrogate sued to have her biological father actually listed on that document, saying that the failure to do so was violating her rights to an accurate identity. This case is a complicated one because the girl was born via a surrogate, using sperm from her biological father and an egg from an anonymous donor.
Along with her biological father’s same-sex partner, the girl argued in court that her biological father’s name should be the one on her birth certificate, not the husband of the surrogate, who had no biological relationship to her. However, the European Court of Human Rights felt differently, ruling that the case was unfounded. Since the girl isn’t being deprived of a legal relationship with her biological father, the court stated that there was no reason or need to adjust the birth certificate to reflect a different name.
It would be possible to change the father’s name on the child’s birth certificate through a parental order, but that can only be done through the agreement and request of the woman who carried the child, and the child’s biological father. The surrogate and her husband did not consent to that change, so the biological father wasn’t able to have the adjustment made. A breakdown in the relationship between the surrogate and her husband, and the parents resulted in issues.
Because of that, the birth was registered before the parents were ever informed that it had taken place. The court got involved, and decided that the girl would live with the same-sex couple, her parents, (one of whom is her biological father), and that the surrogate and her husband would have access to her frequently. But the relationship remains strained, and the birth certificate will likely continue to be a point of contention.
At The Surrogacy Law Center, we work to help individuals and couples who want to start or grow their families through assisted reproduction. To find out more about protecting your legal rights and your future child’s legal rights throughout the surrogacy process, contact us online or call us at (760) 438-0558 to schedule a consultation today!