A lesbian woman has won a supreme court battle with her former partner, which is being fought over their seven-year-old daughter.
Judges have heard that one of the woman is the child’s biological mother and sole parent, whereas the other considers herself a de facto parent.
Their relationship reached it’s end back in 2011, more than three years after their daughter was conceived via IVF and born. She was then taken to Pakistan by her biological mother back in 2014.
The other woman then decided to launch legal action, and asked judges to order her daughter to be returned to the UK. It was decided at the time by high court judge and court of appeal judges that they did not have the jurisdiction to make such an order. This was due to them concluding that the daughter was not habitually resident in the UK, which is where the legal proceedings were launched.
But now, these decisions have been overturned by supreme court judges. They have ruled today (Wednesday) that the child had been habitually resident and allowed an appeal from the “de facto” parent. That parent’s lawyer said that a judge in England could now consider the child’s best interests.
Maria Wright, who works for Freemans Solicitors, had this to say: “[She] feared the consequence of the high court and court of appeal’s decisions was that [the child] would lose her relationship with her parent entirely. 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. Further, the supreme court has brought welcome clarity to the law regarding a child’s habitual residence.”
The case will now return to the high court.