Reunite intervening in Supreme Court case of gay couple’s international custody battle
This week reunite has been intervening in a case before the Supreme Court which will consider the complex issues of habitual residence, the power of the English Court to make decisions about British nationals, and the definition of parenthood.
The case, which had been heard by the Court of Appeal in January, involves the family of a seven year old child who was taken to live in Pakistan by her birth mother, one of a lesbian couple. The woman ‘left behind’ had been seeking to have the child returned to the jurisdiction of England and Wales.
The judge of the High Court initially found that the child was not habitually resident in the UK (albeit that she was probably not habitually resident in Pakistan at that point either) and did not feel that she could make the child a Ward of the Court.
Pakistan’s attitude to homosexuality means that the appellant would not have recourse to the Pakistani courts to help establish her relationship with the child, and so the only court which can resolve the issue is that of England and Wales.
The case was given leave to appeal to the Supreme Court who have been considering it on 8 and 9 December 2015.
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