News Essentials: 11th November 2023

A brief summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last week: 


Proposed changes to surrogacy law ‘will not be taken forward at the moment’
Changes to the law which could have seen couples become a surrogate child’s legal parents at birth will not be taken forward “at the moment”, a health minister has said. Full story: Care Appointments.

Speech by Sir Andrew McFarlane: Adapting Adoption to the Modern World
The Mayflower Lecture 2023 - Adapting Adoption to the Modern World - Thursday 9 November 2023. Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

Court of Appeal allows appeal by father over interim care order

The Court of Appeal has allowed a father’s appeal against interim care orders made in respect of his three children. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Court of Appeal orders fresh hearing after local authority appeals rejection of application for care order
The Court of Appeal has allowed a local authority’s appeal against a judge’s decision to reject its application that a young person should be made subject to a care order. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Government response, Domestic abuse and the Family Court: Achieving cultural change
In July 2023, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner published a report into the Family Court’s response to domestic abuse. The government has now responded to the recommendations within this report. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Domestic-abuse victims fear deportation if they go to police
Every police force in England and Wales has reported migrants who are domestic-abuse victims to Immigration Enforcement, new data suggests. Full story: BBC News.

Indi Gregory: Parents lose bid to take critically ill baby home
A judge has ruled a critically ill baby's life support treatment will not be allowed to be ended at home. Full story: BBC News.

Wiltshire Police criticised over Clare's Law failings
Former Justice Secretary Sir Robert Buckland said he was "horrified and furious" over failings in a system designed to protect possible victims of domestic violence. Full story: BBC News.

Pioneering research reveals stark reality of divorcing couples’ finances
High-profile acrimonious divorce cases making news headlines have created the false impression court room showdowns and large financial settlements are commonplace. Full story: University of Bristol.

Family Procedure Rules Committee: practitioner member appointed
Ministers have approved the appointment of Laura Coyle as Practitioner Member of the Family Procedure Rules Committee for 3 years from 1 August 2023. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Family Procedure Rule Committee: solicitor member and 2 barrister members reappointed
Ministers have approved the reappointment of Graeme Fraser, as Solicitor member, and Rhys Taylor and Poonam Bhari as Barrister members of the Family Procedure Rule Committee for 3 years from 28 February 2024. Full story: Ministry of Justice.


Ezinne Uchechukwu-Onwubiko v Ihedinma Onwubiko & Ors [2023] EWHC 2812 (Fam) (16 October 2023)
Dispute between two women as to who was the 'true' wife of deceased man. Full report: National Archives.

Manchester City Council v Maryan Yusef & Ors [2023] EWHC 2792 (Fam) (7 November 2023)
Further application by local authority for committal of father for contempt for breach of orders relating to the return of his children, believed to be in Somalia. Full report: National Archives.

C (Change of Forename: Child in Care), Re [2023] EWHC 2813 (Fam) (9 November 2023)
Application by local authority for permission to change forename of 8 month old child in interim care. Permission granted, provided care plan approved and care order made on that basis. Full report: National Archives.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v Gregory & Ors (Re Inherent Jurisdiction - Indi Gregory) [2023] EWHC 2798 (Fam) (08 November 2023)
Judgment concerning issue of where extubation of critically ill child should take place. Full report: Bailii.

DG v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & EG (CSM) (Child support - calculation of income, Child support - variation/departure directions) [2023] UKUT 238 (AAC) (23 October 2023)
This appeal is about the circumstances in which the Secretary of State or, on appeal, the FTT, may agree a variation under regulation 69 of the Child Support Maintenance Calculations Regulations 2012 on the ground that the non-resident parent has “unearned income”. Full report: Bailii.

Wokingham Borough Council v The Mother & Ors [2023] EWFC 196 (8 November 2023)
Fact-finding in care proceedings concerning allegations that parents assaulted children. Full report: National Archives.

A Local Authority v EF & Ors [2023] EWFC 178 (13 October 2023)
Care proceedings concerning two children, initiated as a result of the local authority’s view that the mother was overly controlling of the children and that she believed and treated them as though they both suffered from disabilities and difficulties which no professional had corroborated. Full report: Bailii.

The Mother v The Father [2023] EWHC 2078 (Fam) (14 August 2023)
Costs judgment following unsuccessful appeal by mother from refusal of permission to reopen findings of fact in private law proceedings, in which the judge had made findings of parental alienation against the mother. Full report: Bailii.

L v K (Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction) [2023] EWHC 2766 (Fam) (02 November 2023)
Application by mother for summary return of child to United States. Application dismissed, following finding that the child was habitually resident in the UK on the relevant date. Full report: Bailii.

B v G (Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction) [2023] EWHC 2752 (Fam) (02 November 2023)
Application by father seeking return of 12 year old child to Spain, in case where the mother had died and child was living with her grandmother. Return ordered, despite child's objections. Full report: Bailii.