The surrogate twins of a homosexual British couple have been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK by the Home Secretary. Last month, the twins had been denied automatic entry to the country by Heathrow Airport immigration officials when their two fathers tried to bring them in from America, where they had been born to a surrogate mother. Their passports were confiscated and only temporary residency was granted.
A Home Office spokesman said that Jack Straw had 'taken the decision outside normal immigration law, which did not allow for the unique circumstances of this case'. The 'exceptional circumstances' and the 'welfare of the children' had to be considered as a priority.
The case created legal history in America last year when a Supreme Court judge allowed both men to be registered as the parents of the child. Under British law, the surrogate mother and her husband are the legally recognised parents of the twins, even though one of the men is the biological father of the children. The decision of the Home Secretary has not set a precedent in this country - each immigration case will still be examined on its own merits. Although the Home Secretary has the discretion to do so, the twins have not been granted British citizenship.