Meaning of references to parties to a civil partnership
The references in sections 35 to 47 to the parties to a civil partnership at the time
are to the parties to a civil partnership subsisting at that time, unless a
separation order was then in force, but
include the parties to a void civil partnership if either or both of them
reasonably believed at that time that the civil partnership was valid;
and for the purposes of those sections it is to be presumed that, unless
the contrary is shown, that one of them reasonably believed at that time
that the civil partnership was valid.
In subsection (1)(a), “separation order” means—
a separation order under section 37(1)(d) or 161(1)(d) of the Civil
Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33),
a decree of separation under section 120(2) of that Act, or
a legal separation obtained in a country outside the United Kingdom
and recognised in the United Kingdom.
Further provision about registration by virtue of section 39, 40 or 46
Meaning of “relevant register of births”
For the purposes of this Part a “relevant register of births”, in relation to a birth,
is whichever of the following is relevant—
a register of live-births or still-births kept under the Births and Deaths
Registration Act 1953 (c. 20),
a register of births or still-births kept under the Registration of Births,
Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965 (c. 49), or
a register of live-births or still-births kept under the Births and Deaths
Registration (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 (S. I. 1976/1041 (N. I. 14)).
Late election by mother with consent of Registrar General
The requirement under section 39(1), 40(1) or (2) or 46(1) or (2) as to the making
of an election (which requires an election to be made either on or before the day
on which the child was born or within the period of 42 or, as the case may be,
21 days from that day) is nevertheless to be treated as satisfied if the required
election is made after the end of that period but with the consent of the
Registrar General under subsection (2).
The Registrar General may at any time consent to the making of an election
after the end of the period mentioned in subsection (1) if, on an application
made to him in accordance with such requirements as he may specify, he is
satisfied that there is a compelling reason for giving his consent to the making
In this section “the Registrar General” means the Registrar General for England
and Wales, the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Scotland
or (as the case may be) the Registrar General for Northern Ireland.
Interpretation of references to father etc. where woman is other parent
Interpretation of references to father etc.
Subsections (2) and (3) have effect, subject to subsections (4) and (6), for the
interpretation of any enactment, deed or any other instrument or document
(whenever passed or made).
Any reference (however expressed) to the father of a child who has a parent by
virtue of section 42 or 43 is to be read as a reference to the woman who is a
parent of the child by virtue of that section.
Any reference (however expressed) to evidence of paternity is, in relation to a
woman who is a parent by virtue of section 42 or 43, to be read as a reference
to evidence of parentage.
This section does not affect the interpretation of the enactments specified in
subsection (5) (which make express provision for the case where a child has a
parent by virtue of section 42 or 43).
Those enactments are—
the Legitimacy Act (Northern Ireland) 1928 (c. 5 (N.I.)),
the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 (c. 20),
the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Special Provisions)
Part 2 of the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act
the Congenital Disabilities (Civil Liability) Act 1976 (c. 28),
the Legitimacy Act 1976 (c. 31),
the Births and Deaths Registration (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 (S. I.
the British Nationality Act 1981 (c. 61),
the Family Law Reform Act 1987 (c. 42),
Parts 1 and 2 of the Children Act 1989 (c. 41),
Part 1 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 (c. 36),
section 1 of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995
Parts 2, 3 and 14 of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (S. I.
This section does not affect the interpretation of references that fall to be read
in accordance with section 1(2)(a) or (b) of the Family Law Reform Act 1987 or
Article 155(2)(a) or (b) of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995
(references to a person whose father and mother were, or were not, married to
each other at the time of the person’s birth).
On an application made by two people (“the applicants”), the court may make
an order providing for a child to be treated in law as the child of the applicants
the child has been carried by a woman who is not one of the applicants,
as a result of the placing in her of an embryo or sperm and eggs or her
the gametes of at least one of the applicants were used to bring about
the creation of the embryo, and
the conditions in subsections (2) to (8) are satisfied.
The applicants must be—
civil partners of each other, or
two persons who are living as partners in an enduring family
relationship and are not within prohibited degrees of relationship in
Except in a case falling within subsection (11), the applicants must apply for the
order during the period of 6 months beginning with the day on which the child
At the time of the application and the making of the order—
the child’s home must be with the applicants, and
either or both of the applicants must be domiciled in the United
Kingdom or in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
At the time of the making of the order both the applicants must have attained
The court must be satisfied that both—
the woman who carried the child, and
any other person who is a parent of the child but is not one of the
applicants (including any man who is the father by virtue of section 35
or 36 or any woman who is a parent by virtue of section 42 or 43),
have freely, and with full understanding of what is involved, agreed
unconditionally to the making of the order.
Subsection (6) does not require the agreement of a person who cannot be found
or is incapable of giving agreement; and the agreement of the woman who
carried the child is ineffective for the purpose of that subsection if given by her
less than six weeks after the child’s birth.
The court must be satisfied that no money or other benefit (other than for
expenses reasonably incurred) has been given or received by either of the
applicants for or in consideration of—
the making of the order,
any agreement required by subsection (6),
the handing over of the child to the applicants, or
the making of arrangements with a view to the making of the order,
unless authorised by the court.
For the purposes of an application under this section—
in relation to England and Wales, section 92(7) to (10) of, and Part 1 of
Schedule 11 to, the Children Act 1989 (c. 41) (jurisdiction of courts)
apply for the purposes of this section to determine the meaning of “the
court” as they apply for the purposes of that Act and proceedings on the
application are to be “family proceedings” for the purposes of that Act,
in relation to Scotland, “the court” means the Court of Session or the
sheriff court of the sheriffdom within which the child is, and
in relation to Northern Ireland, “the court” means the High Court or
any county court within whose division the child is.
Subsection (1)(a) applies whether the woman was in the United Kingdom or
elsewhere at the time of the placing in her of the embryo or the sperm and eggs
or her artificial insemination.
An application which—
relates to a child born before the coming into force of this section, and
is made by two persons who, throughout the period applicable under
subsection (2) of section 30 of the 1990 Act, were not eligible to apply
for an order under that section in relation to the child as husband and
may be made within the period of six months beginning with the day on which
this section comes into force.
Parental orders: supplementary provision
The Secretary of State may by regulations provide—
for any provision of the enactments about adoption to have effect, with
such modifications (if any) as may be specified in the regulations, in
relation to orders under section 54, and applications for such orders, as
it has effect in relation to adoption, and applications for adoption
for references in any enactment to adoption, an adopted child or an
adoptive relationship to be read (respectively) as references to the effect
of an order under section 54, a child to whom such an order applies and
a relationship arising by virtue of the enactments about adoption, as
applied by the regulations, and for similar expressions in connection
with adoption to be read accordingly.
The regulations may include such incidental or supplemental provision as
appears to the Secretary of State to be necessary or desirable in consequence of
any provision made by virtue of subsection (1)(a) or (b).
In this section “the enactments relating to adoption” means—
the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978 (c. 28),
the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (c. 38),
the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 (asp 4), and
the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 (S. I. 1987/2203 (N. I. 22)).
Amendments relating to parenthood in cases involving assisted reproduction
Schedule 6 contains amendments related to the provisions of this Part.