A gay couple paid surrogate mothers a total of £40,000 for three babies, despite it being illegal in the UK, a court heard. The civil partners made no effort to record how the money paid for the babies was spent and the couple were found guilty of trying to cover up how much they paid.
Despite UK law only allowing surrogate mothers to be paid "reasonable expenses”, the judge Ms Justice Russell decided that it was in the children’s best interest that the couple is recognised as the legal parents of the three babies.
Ms Justice Russell said: “Having heard all three women give evidence, I was left in no doubt that each had acted altruistically and had not made any financial gain out of having the babies.”
The surrogate mothers who met the couple through a Facebook surrogacy forum are understood to have a few hundred pounds maximum left over after their ‘reasonable expenses’ and they all understood that they would not have any rights to the children after they were born.
The Daily Mail reported that the surrogates used the money they received to pay for clothing, travel costs and ‘recuperation holidays’.
Ms Justice Russell added: “As well as being concerned about the actual amounts paid to the surrogates and the dishonesty of the applicants to the court in disclosing the amounts they had paid, the welfare of the three children was an issue that had to be determined by the court, as it would be a challenge to any parents to manage three children born in such close proximity to each other.”
The court ruled in favour of the gay couple keeping all three children after a glowing reference from the court appointed guardian who said: “It seems like it is what these gentlemen were put on this earth to do.”