Court Grants Parental Orders in AY & Anor v ZX Surrogacy Case Despite Delay in Application Filing

Citation: [2023] EWFC 39
Judgment on


In the case of “AY & Anor v ZX,” the court addressed the intricate matter of parental orders for children born via surrogacy. The main parties involved include AY and BY, the intended parents, and ZX, the surrogate mother. The core issue revolved around the legitimacy and timing of the parental orders sought for the children, CY and DY.

Key Facts

  • AY and BY embarked on a private surrogacy journey, which resulted in the birth of two children, CY and DY, in October 2021.
  • Following the birth, the intended parents, AY and BY, sought parental orders for both children to establish their legal parentage.
  • ZX, the surrogate mother, gave her full consent for the parental orders to be granted in favor of AY and BY.
  • The application for parental orders was submitted 27 days beyond the stipulated period.
  • The case required a meticulous examination of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, which provides a framework for parental orders in the context of surrogacy. The Act necessitates that an application for a parental order should be made within six months of the child’s birth.
  • The Parental Order Reporter’s report was pivotal in assessing the suitability of granting the parental orders in this scenario.
  • Precedent cases where exceptions were made due to extenuating circumstances also played a role in guiding the court’s judgment.


  • The court, after careful consideration, granted the applications for parental orders concerning CY and DY.
  • Recognizing the genuine reasons behind the 27-day delay in submitting the application, the court was willing to be lenient. This decision was influenced by the potential long-term ramifications concerning the legal status and identity of the children if the orders weren’t granted.


”AY & Anor v ZX” underscores the intricate balance the legal system must strike between strictly adhering to legislative provisions and ensuring the best interests of children in surrogacy arrangements. The case will undoubtedly serve as a precedent for future scenarios where legal timelines intersect with real-life challenges, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing children’s welfare over procedural rigidity.