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Modern fertility treatments have given rise to a bewildering array of unusual – but entirely lawful – family arrangements and, in one such case, the High Court has granted an adoption order to a biological father who was also his son’s brother.
The man, aged in his 20s, was desperate to have a child and his mother had agreed to act as a surrogate mother to his baby. She was implanted with a donor egg, fertilised by her son’s sperm, and gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
The baby had lived with his natural father since birth. However, as a matter of law, their relationship was not recognised as that of a father and son. Under the terms of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, they were viewed as brothers and the man’s parents were also the legal parents of his baby.
The Court acknowledged that it was not a situation which had been encountered before by a judge. However, the surrogacy had been managed throughout by a licensed fertility clinic and the matter had been carefully investigated by social workers. All were agreed that an adoption order in favour of the biological father would promote the child’s lifelong welfare needs.