Judge condemns 'dishonesty' of same-sex couple in surrogacy case


A same-sex couple who made arrangements with three surrogate mothers when trying to build a family have come under fire from a High Court judge.

Ms Justice Russell said the two men had "set out to mislead the court" about how much they had paid each woman.

The judge said their conduct had been "reprehensible".

But she said they had subsequently disclosed the full amount and tried to present as full a picture as possible.

The women had been paid sums between £8,000 and £15,000, she was told.

Ms Justice Russell said the case was an illustration of the need for better regulation of surrogacy agreements in the UK.

She said there was a "market" and the three women had been paid what was considered the "going rate".

The judge raised concerns in a ruling after concluding the two men should become the legal parents of the three children.

She had analysed the case at a private family court hearing in London.

The three children were born within the space of six months as a result of the arrangements made with the three women.

Ms Justice Russell said she had been concerned about the children's welfare, as well as the men's "dishonesty".

The judge said the men met the surrogate mothers on a Facebook site.

She said the site had featured in other surrogacy court cases.

A woman who ran the site had told how she arranged meetings between commissioning parents and potential surrogates at her home and in pubs, said Ms Justice Russell.