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British Couple Named Legal Parents of Baby by Court Despite Paying 'Excessive' Expenses

Daily Mail,  Dec 8, 2010

A British couple who paid for a surrogate birth in America have been recognised as the baby's legal parents in a landmark High Court ruling.

Paying anything more than 'reasonable expenses' to surrogate mothers is illegal in England and Wales, but today's decision effectively gets round that and opens the way for foreign surrogacies even where the birth mother makes a profit.

No restrictions on payments to surrogate mothers apply in the state of Illinois - where the baby was born - and top family judge, Mr Justice Hedley, said it was clear that money paid by the British couple to the birth mother was 'in excess of reasonable expenses'.

The baby was only allowed to enter the UK temporarily on a US passport, but the judge today saved the youngster from limbo when he "retrospectively authorised" the payments made to the surrogate mother and recognised the British couple as the child's parents.

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