London: A lesbian woman battling with her ex-partner for the return of her IVF-born daughter from Pakistan has been given hope by a Supreme Court ruling. The girl’s biological mother and sole legal parent took her out of the UK in 2014, three years after their relationship ended.
But the woman who won today’s decision also considers herself a de facto parent to the seven-year-old – who was conceived by IVF in 2008. Her efforts to force her former partner to bring the girl back to the UK had been blocked by the High Court and Court of Appeal.
They said they could not intervene because the girl was not habitually resident in Britain when the legal action started. However, Supreme Court justices have now overturned those rulings – deciding she had been resident and allowing the woman’s appeal.
The case now goes back to the High Court for a judge to reconsider whether to take steps to bring the girl back from Pakistan. Lawyers say the ruling has important implications.
Maria Wright, from Freemans Solicitors, said: “The consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision is that the English court can properly consider what is in (the child’s) best interests and, if appropriate, order contact or (the child’s) return to England.”