Gay woman’s right to motherhood without adoption

Image - gay adoption: Oksana Mizina/shutterstock

Yesterday on 15th July 2022, a gay woman’s right to motherhood without adoption has been granted by the High Court in London after officials tried to force her to adopt her own child due to their mistake. 

In a case which she has described as “painful and humiliating”, Sarah Osborne was forced to undergo adoption protocol for her own child, conceived through IVF with her partner Helen Arnold, 48. This process involved a DBS check and an assessment of her suitability as a parent by social workers. 

When the same-sex couple initially registered their child at the Cambridge register office, they were told by a registrar that because Osborne “clearly wasn’t” the father that her name could not be permitted on the birth certificate, as reported by

The registrar’s prohibition of Osborne’s name on the birth certificate went against the legal ruling that those who go through the process of IVF – and consent to parenthood of the child conceived – are entitled to their name on their child’s birth certificate. Osborne regarded the registrar’s claim as “disrespectful, indignant and flippant”, and admitted that she was made to “feel stupid for asking or expecting to be named as a parent”. 

Mr Justice Macdonald, who authorised the naming of Osborne on the certificate, which means that she will not have to complete the process of adoption to adopt her own child,  described the case as “a very difficult number of years” of “distress and discomfort”. He also  wished the couple “the best for the future”. 

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Annie Dabb

From Newcastle originally, Annie is based in Manchester and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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