A hospital in the United Kingdom has reportedly told a couple who conceived their child through in vitro fertilization (IVF) that they must now adopt that child because the mother incorrectly completed preliminary legal forms for the procedure. The Independent reported that the woman, who was not named, failed to check off a single box that would have granted her partner the legal right to parent any child born via IVF. The news website also did not report the name of her partner.
The Hewitt Fertility Centre, which is affiliated with the Liverpool Women’s National Health Services Trust, reportedly discovered the mother’s error in August 2014. Workers notified the couple in March 2015 that they would need to begin filling out adoption papers for the child they had already begun raising.
A family court tried the case, whereby the judge ruled in favor of the parents and suggested that the form may be “superfluous at best and a potential trap at worst,” The Independent reported.
The Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation trust issued an apology through a spokesman who said the group was “extremely sorry for our failure to ensure that a consent form was correctly completed in the course of a couple’s fertility treatment at the Hewitt Fertility Centre in 2009.”
“We contacted the couple involved to apologize and offer them support,” the spokesman said, according to The Independent. “This has included assistance with legal costs to enable the non-birth partner to become the child’s legal parent.”