B e f o r e :
|Re G and M|
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MRS. JUSTICE THEIS:
Section 83 ACA 2002
"1) This section applies where a person who is habitually resident in the British Islands -
(b) At any time brings, or causes another to bring, into the United Kingdom a child adopted by the British resident under an external adoption effected within the period of six months ending with that time."
"Commercial surrogacy is not prohibited in Iowa however there are no explicit statutes. Iowa Code Chapter 710 prohibits the purchase or sale of an individual and surrogacy agreements are specifically excluded from this prohibition. Iowa law does not prohibit gay or lesbian couples from adopting children or children of a same sex partner. Furthermore, Iowa allows same sex couples to marry under the laws of Iowa. Therefore, same sex couples are allowed to enter into surrogacy contracts.
Absent court proceedings, the legal parents of a child born through surrogacy are the mother who births the child and her husband, if she is married. [So very similar to the situation in this jurisdiction]. Iowa does not differentiate between heterosexual and same sex intended parents, thus, the legal process is the same. The parental rights, or parent-child relationship, is terminated by court order with respect to the birth mother and legal father. The intended parents' biological relationship to the child is proven by scientific evidence (usually DNA), and the court establishes the intended biological parent as the parent, or parents, and then orders the Department of Vital Records to remove the legal father from the birth certificate, and to issue a new birth certificate showing the biological father or mother, as the case may be, on the birth certificate.
In the case of same sex couples, the partner who is not the biological father or mother may adopt the partner's child and then be added to the birth certificate as a second parent [what would be termed here a step-parent adoption]."
"Court orders in this case do not refer to any surrogacy arrangement. However, the court was made aware of the surrogacy arrangement at the hearing and prior to the court signing the order."
"I release and surrender complete and total custody of the said child to Maxine Buckmeier of Sioux County, Iowa, knowing that the purpose of this release is to permit her to file a petition in the juvenile court for the termination of my parental rights of this child which would completely sever and extinguish the parent-child relationship between me and the said child.
I further state that I have read and understood all of the provisions contained in this release."
"It has further ordered, adjudged and decreed that BB has hereby established that the child's biological father and his name shall be shown on the child's birth certificate, and the child's name shall be changed to G."
It also records this will be registered with the Iowa Department of Vital Records.
"The court therefore finds that the petition of Maxine Buckmeier to terminate the parent-child relationships of the above named minor be granted as to the mother by birth and the legal father of the said child, and that she be appointed guardian and custodian of the said minor child. It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed that the parent-child relationship of the above named child, namely G, be terminated pursuant to the relevant provisions of the code of Iowa."
It effectively terminates the surrogate mother and her husband's parent-child relationship. At that stage, it brings into effect BB being the biological father of G.
"After being fully advised on premises, the court finds, firstly, that it has jurisdictional parties. All interest parties have waived notice of this hearing that G was born within the state of Iowa, and the various procedural requirements have been given that are listed in the order. It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed that G is hereby adopted by BD and the rights, duties and relationships between the said child and the petitioner shall henceforth be the same as exists between child and parent by lawful birth."
Section 54 criteria
"It is not, as a matter of law, necessary that the residence should be long in point of time. Residence for a few days is enough. Indeed, an immigrant can acquire a domicile immediately upon his arrival in the country in which he intends to settle. The length of residence is not important in itself, it is only important as evidence of the animus manendi."
"The true test is whether the person intends to make his new home in the country until the end of his days unless, and until, something happens to make him to change his mind."
"When we moved to the United Kingdom we moved with an intention to remain living here on a permanent basis and making it our home. Having lived in the UK since December 2012, our intentions remain the same. We cannot see ourselves living anywhere other than the United Kingdom, and we certainly do not envisage returning to live in France.
We made the decision to move permanently to the United Kingdom to make it our home country as a result of our decision to start a family. General French society has, in our view, an underlying antipathy to same sex couples and particularly to the creation of families within same sex partnerships. The 2013 campaign against same sex marriage with a large protest gathering is but one case in point. We made a decision to protect our children that we hoped to have from such a discriminatory environment, whether overt or covert. We chose to make our future in England after much consideration and planning. In doing so, we each made a firm decision to abandon our domicile of origin."
"The applicants care for the children lovingly and have been proactive in ensuring that their needs are met. G and M demonstrate secure attachment to the intended parents. BB and BD are confident that AM entered into the surrogacy arrangement knowingly and willingly. They are confident that the amount paid was not such as to strongly influence or overpower the surrogate's freewill in making the arrangement.
G and M's permanent home will be with BB and BD. A parental order will benefit them greatly as it will secure G and M in law as the intended parents' children, thus, affording them the greatest possible security. In the circumstances, I take the view that it is overwhelmingly in the interests of G and M for a parental order to be granted."