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UK top court rules for non-biological lesbian parent in custody battle

[JURIST] The UK Supreme Court [official website] ruled [case materials] Wednesday in favor of a lesbian woman seeking the return of her IVF-born daughter to the UK from Pakistan, giving her the right to fight for custody. The seven-year-old child was taken to Pakistan by her biological mother and legal parent after her relationship with the appellant ended in 2011. The UK high court and court of appeals previously ruled that they did not have jurisdiction [Guardian report] over the proceedings, brought under the Children Act, as the child was no longer a UK resident. The Supreme Court, however, found that the girl was a habitual resident of the UK, and that an English judge could now consider what is in the child's best interest, and, if appropriate, order contact [Guardian report] or the child's return to England.

Advances in reproductive technology have continued to raise legal issues. In November a California judge ordered the destruction [JURIST report] of five embryos following a couple's divorce. Last February UK lawmakers voted in favor [JURIST report] of a law that would make the UK the first country to allow an in IVF technique that uses DNA from two women and one man. In 2014 the French Court of Cassation ruled [JURIST report] that a woman is allowed to adopt the child of her same-sex spouse conceived through IVF.

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