Senior judge raises concerns over increased IVF and surrogacy court cases

A senior judge in the UK has expressed concern about an increase of IVF and surrogacy cases coming before the courts

Mr Justice MacDonald told the conference of the Association of Lawyers for Children that there had been a marked increase in family cases becoming more complex in recent years, according to The Telegraph.

The High Court judge said he would urge the legislation to be updated to alleviate the problem getting any bigger.

He said: “Judges, practitioners and professionals are increasingly concerned with cases that arise from surrogacy arrangements between individuals, litigation arising out of IVF treatment, and cases in which a dispute has arisen between a child’s parents and the doctors treating that child about where his or her best interests lie in the context of life-limiting conditions.”

He said a rapidly changing society in a fast-moving world was one of the main issues, meaning that Parliament did not have time to legislate for it.

There have been several high profile cases in recent months regarding surrogacy and IVF, including a man who sued a fertility clinic following his ex-partner giving birth to a child where he said he had not consented for his sperm to be used.

Another case involved a surrogate mother who changed her mind and kept the child she was carrying. The judge in that case ruled she must hand the child over.

Justice MacDonald said: “It is undesirable for a small cadre of judges, however fair, impartial and enlightened they may be, to dictate what the law should be with respect to complicated social, political and philosophical questions of interest to society as a whole.”

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