The court considered in detail the provisions of the HFEA 2008 and it’s interrelation with s.10(9) CA 1989 before granting two biological fathers S & T leave to apply for contact orders in respect of children born to two separate lesbian couples in civil partnerships. S’s application for leave to apply for a residence order was refused. The fact that significant contact had occurred between the men and the children was the most important factor in granting the leave application. The court emphasised that the granting of leave did not necessarily mean that substantive orders would follow.
The court gave guidance on how to manage applications to revoke freeing orders in situations where children had been left ‘statutory orphans’ after the failure of care plans for adoption. Inter alia all such applications should be made to the high court and even former parents who made a declaration under 18(6) Adoption Act 1976 should be respondents to the application.
On the same day as Re I, The court held that another child’s habitual residence remained England & Wales where her maternal grandparents (with whom she had lived in this jurisdiction for 7 years) removed her to the USA without telling her biological father who had contact with her but no parental responsibility.
The court held that a child’s habitual residence remained this jurisdiction where he had lived with relatives here for five years with his parent’s consent and his removal by his mother had been done in a covert way.