|[Home] [Databases] [World Law] [Multidatabase Search] [Help] [Feedback]|
England and Wales High Court (Family Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Family Division) Decisions >> J, Re  EWHC 1330 (Fam) (08 June 2016)
Cite as:  EWHC 1330 (Fam),  2 FLR 1,  Fam Law 1088
[New search] [Context] [View without highlighting] [Printable RTF version] [Help]
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
|In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008|
Hearing date: 27 May 2016
Crown Copyright ©
Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division :
i) The treatment which led to the birth of the child was embarked upon and carried through jointly and with full knowledge by both the woman (that is, Y) and her partner (X).
ii) From the outset of that treatment, it was the intention of both Y and X that X would be a legal parent of the child. Each was aware that this was a matter which, legally, required the signing by each of them of consent forms. Each of them believed that they had signed the relevant forms as legally required and, more generally, had done whatever was needed to ensure that they would both be parents.
iii) From the moment when the pregnancy was confirmed, both Y and X believed that X was the other parent of the child. That remained their belief when the child was born.
iv) X and Y, believing that they were entitled to, and acting in complete good faith, registered the birth of their child, as they believed the child to be, showing both of them on the birth certificates as the child's parents, as they believed themselves to be.
v) The first they knew that anything was or might be 'wrong' was when, about a year later, they were contacted by the clinic.
vi) X's application to the court is, as I have said, wholeheartedly supported by Y.
"a v was inserted in the wrong place and, as it were, against the wrong piece of text. It was, as [counsel] submits, a simple undetected clerical error. In the circumstances, this obvious mistake can, in my judgment, be 'corrected' as a matter of construction, and without the need for rectification."
A final matter
"the approach to checking that the Form WP and the Form PP have been fully and properly completed is surely just as important, and demands just as much care, attention and rigour, as would be demanded in the case of a legal document such as a contract for the sale of land, a conveyance or a will – indeed, in the context of parenthood, even more important."
These administrative failures, which have been so characteristic a feature of every one of the cases I have had to consider, unhappily seem indicative of systemic failings both of management and of regulation across the sector. I can only hope that what all this litigation has revealed will by now have led to very significant improvements in understanding and practice.