High Court refuses declaration of incompatibility in relation to surrogacy arrangements


The High Court this week handed down judgment in H v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. The claim was brought on behalf of a child who was born under a surrogacy arrangement. The intended parents had fallen into dispute with the surrogate mother and her husband, and as a result of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 the child was recorded on her birth certificate as the child of the surrogate mother and her husband.

A human rights challenge was brought seeking a declaration of incompatibility of the legislation that declared that the surrogate mother’s husband was the child’s father. The claim was brought on the basis of Articles 8 and 14 European Convention on Human Rights.

The High Court refused to grant a declaration of incompatibility, concluding the legislation was a proportionate means of achieving a number of legitimate aims, including the non-enforceability of surrogacy arrangements.

Sarah Hannett and Nathan Roberts represented the successful defendant.

Click here for a legal summary of the case.