Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2003] All ER (D) 374 (Feb)
Neutral Citation: [2003] EWHC 259 (QB)
Court: Queen's Bench Division

Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss P

Representation Robert Francis QC (instructed by Hempsons) for the claimant NHS trust.
  Eleanor Hamilton QC and Elizabeth O'Hare (instructed by Lee & Priestley) for Mr and Mrs A.
  Peter Jackson QC (instructed by the Official Solicitor) for the twins.
  Dinah Rose (instructed by Morgan Cole) for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
  Judith Parker QC and Charles Foster (instructed by Lester Morrill) for Mr and Mrs B.
  James Eadie (instructed by the Solicitor for the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health) as intervenor.
  Neil Graham QC (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) as advocate to the court.
Judgment Dates: 26 February 2003


Children and young persons - Paternity - Determination - Declaration of paternity - Twins born after IVF treatment - Wrong sperm used to inseminate egg - Identity of legal father - ss 28 and 29.

The Case

Where Mr and Mrs A had IVF treatment, and it later transpired that, due to an error, Mr B's sperm, not Mr A's sperm, had been used to inseminate eggs from Mrs A, the court ruled that Mr A did not come within the presumptions under s28 of the and that therefore Mr B was the legal father. Moreover, while Mr and Mrs A and the twins' rights under art8 of the European Court of Human Rights were engaged, the interference in those rights had been prescribed by law and were necessary in a democratic society.

Practice Areas

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