This recent case illustrates the need for urgent reform of the law on surrogacy arrangements.
In UK law, the surrogate mother who carries and gives birth to the child is the legal parent. The intended parents can only become the child's legal parents by obtaining a court order transferring legal parenthood from the surrogate (known as a 'parental order'), after the child has been born.
At present, parental orders are only available to couples, and not to single parents. The family courts have already declared this incompatible with human rights law. This means that the government should act to change the law and allow single people to become parents through surrogacy arrangements. However, it has not yet done so.
The result is sad cases like this one. The intended parents separated during the pregnancy, and the intended father decided he no longer wanted anything to do with the child, leaving his ex-partner as the only intended parent. Despite that fact that the intended mother still wanted to become the child's legal parent, and the surrogate mother wished to transfer legal parenthood to her, the court could not make a parental order in favour of the intended mother as she was no longer part of a couple.
The intended mother, the surrogate mother and the child will all be stuck in legal limbo until the law is changed. The status quo simply cannot continue for much longer.
M v F & SM (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008)  EWHC 2176 (Fam)