Ruth Cabeza is a specialist family law practitioner who takes a sensitive, solution focused approach to achieving her client’s goals. Unafraid to challenge accepted wisdom, she has been at forefront of developments in adoption and surrogacy case law. The breadth and depth of her knowledge and experience across all fields of family law, enables her to provide a holistic, sometimes creative, and always well informed analysis of the relevant legal and factual matrix.
If you would like any further information regarding Ruth Cabeza’s practice, please contact her clerks or call +44 (0)20 7405 6114.
- International adoption
- International surrogacy
- Complex care cases – Particularly cases involving overseas placements and/or non-accidental injury
- High net worth financial remedy cases
- Medical treatment orders
- Public Law Children
Ruth is regularly instructed in public law children work at both first instance and court of appeal level. Acting for local authorities, parents, guardians and intervenors, she has extensive experience in this field and is often instructed in cases that involve one or more of the following complicating factors:
- Complications in relation habitual residence/jurisdiction
- Proposals to achieve permanency overseas with foreign relatives
- Disputes in relation to Article 15 Brussels IIA
- Fatal injuries to a sibling of the subject children
- Sexual abuse
- Serious physical abuse (burns/fractures/head injuries/ritualistic beatings)
- Medical treatment orders
- Abduction of looked after children (both under and outside of Hague)
- The profound deafness of one or both parents
- Deprivation of Liberty
- Children over 16
- Forced marriage of minors
- Suspected terrorism
Ruth is well versed in the various international instruments that govern mutual recognition and enforcement of adoption/parental responsibility orders. As a member of IAFL she often well placed to advise on suitable experts when cases involve the law and practice of Family Law outside of England and Wales, including in relation to orders/procedures/timescales/costings for obtaining mirror orders/declarations of enforceability in other jurisdictions.
Ruth is frequently instructed to advise and act in relation to matters concerning adoption including:
- Step-parent adoption
- Revocation orders
- Leave to oppose adoption
- Contested adoptions
- Intercountry adoptions
- Declarations of recognition of foreign adoptions
- Domestic adoptions when the adopters are domiciled in the UK but habitually resident out of the UK.
Ruth has acted for intended parents and guardians in surrogacy cases since 2010 and has been involved in several of the key cases where guidance has been given to the profession. She is able to give sensitive and practical advice on all aspects of obtaining a parental order. She has recently co-authored Surrogacy: Law Practice and Policy published by Lexis Nexis in 2018.
- Private Law Children
Ruth is sensitive to the complexities that arise out of disputes between parents in relation to their children and seeks to get the heart of her client’s underlying concerns so that where possible workable arrangements can be successfully negotiated, and were a negotiated outcome is not possible she will vigoursly pursue her client’s case at trial. With over 18 years experience of these cases she is familiar with a very wide range of applications, including disputes involving:
- relocation cases (domestic and international)
- Abduction (within the UK, Hague, non-Hague)
- Inherent jurisdiction/wardship cases
- Change of name
- Declarations of parentage
- Reported cases
- AB (Adoption or Rehabilitation)  EWFC B44 (4 July 2017)
- S (A Child)  EWCA Civ 249 (24 February 2017)
- Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Foundation NHS Trust v NO & KK & Ors  EWHC 241 (Fam) (14 February 2017)
- A Local Authority v J & Y  EWHC 10 (Fam) (01 February 2017)
- Y (Children), Re  EWCA Civ 1091 (08 November 2016)
- KS v MK  EWHC 3276 (Fam) (29 October 2015)
- D (Children), Re  EWCA Civ 409 (30 April 2015)
- RS v T (Surrogacy: Service, Consent and Payments)  EWFC 22 (13 March 2015)
- Re B v C (Surrogacy: Adoption)  EWFC 17 (13 February 2015)
- London Borough of Tower Hamlets v D & Ors  EWHC 3901 (Fam) (13 November 2014)
- J (A Child)  EWFC B203 (24 September 2014)
- CC v DD  EWHC 1307 (Fam) (14 February 2014)
- RO v A Local Authority & Ors  EWHC 97 (Fam) (27 January 2014)
- A&B -v- P Council & M (A Child by his Children’s Guardian) –  EWHC 1128 (Fam)
- Re C (A Child)  EWCA Civ 128
- Re C (a child) (guidance on proceedings involving profoundly deaf parent) –  All ER (D) 128 (Jan)
- Re C (Surrogacy: authorisation of payments other than reasonable expenses)  EWHC 2408 (Fam)
- Kent County Council v PA-K and IA (A Child),  EWHC 578 (Fam)
- D (A Child)  EWHC 4231 (Fam) (14 December 2012)
- Re: IJ (A Child):  EWHC 921 (Fam)
- ECC (The Local Authority) v SM –  1 FLR 234.
- Re A (Adoption: Removal)  EWCA Civ 41  2 FLR 597
- Publications & articles
- Ruth’s A day in the life of… featured on Family Law website https://www.familylaw.co.uk/news_and_comment/a-day-in-the-life-of-ruth-cabeza-barrister-at-field-court-chambers#.WucxEqQvzIU
- Ruth presented the research paper prepared entitled RESEARCH PAPER ON THE EUROPEAN ADDED VALUE OF AN EU LEGAL INSTRUMENT ON THE CROSS-BORDER RECOGNITION OF ADOPTIONS to Legal Affairs Committee at the European Parliament, sitting in Brussels which she prepared with the assistance of co-authors Dr Clair Fenton Glynn and Alexander Boiché (June 2016)
- Ruth Cabeza, Natalie Gamble & Melissa Elsworth, “International Surrogacy Arrangements: the thorn forest that keeps on growing”, in Family Law vol 44 1729-1732 (December 2014)
- Ruth Cabeza & Louisa Ghevaert, “Surrogacy, egg donation and assisted reproduction: payments and the conflict of law and policy”, in Family Law volume 44 215-218 (February 2014)
- Ruth Cabeza & Louisa Ghevaert, “Surrogacy, egg donation and assisted reproduction: payments and the conflict of law and policy”, in International Family Law  IFL 339-432 (December 2013)
- Ruth Cabeza & Ayeesha Bhutta, “Placement of children outside England and Wales: international adoption, special guardianship and the Hague Convention 1996 – known unknowns?”, in International Family Law  IFL 213-216 (July 2013)
- A new Order – better late than never? Has the government made it easier for overseas adoptions to be recognised? – Lexis Nexis, September 2013 – Click here to read article;
- Placement of Children outside England and Wales: International Adoption, Special Guardianship and the Hague Convention 1996. Known Unknowns? International Law Journal Jordan Publishing – due for publication 17th July 2013;
- Adoption shake-up – Ruth Cabeza’s views on plans to reform the adoption system and what this would mean for family law practitioners and their clients. Lexis Nexis Legal Analysis Feb 2013
- International Adoption – authors: Ruth Cabeza, Ayeesha Bhutta, Jason Braier. 1st Edition November 2012. Jordan Publishing;
- Adoption without borders? – NLJ 25/09/09.
- Expert assessment , Solicitors Journal, 2nd July 2013
- Please click here to view Ruth’s recent TV broadcast on Channel 5
- Ruth Cabeza recently presented two webinars for Central Law Training, which can be downloaded here:
- What other people say
Ruth has been consistently recognised as an expert in her field by the Legal 500, which has ranked her as a leading junior each year since 2008 up to and including 2017.
In 2016 Legal 500 said she is ‘Knowledgeable and experienced in cross-border adoption and surrogacy cases, and particularly strong on domicile issues.’
In 2017 Legal 500 said she is ‘Knowledgeable in the areas of international and adoption law.’
Ruth was ranked as a leading junior by Chambers and Partners in 2017 and 2018.
In 2017 Chambers and Partners stated that Ruth is a ‘Highly regarded children law barrister sought after for her expertise in international children law matters including adoption, surrogacy and abduction. She has been involved in landmark cases that have advanced the law.’
‘She is the go-to person for cases involving inter-country adoption and has notable skills in child trafficking and Hague Convention abductions.’
In 2018 Chambers and Partners stated that ‘Ruth has a wealth of knowledge in complex care proceedings and cases with a foreign element to them. She is always a pleasure to work with.’
Ruth has also received several personal recommendations from solicitors and social work professionals with whom she has worked and these can be viewed on her LinkedIn.
- University of Kent (1996 LLB (Hons) upper second class).
- Professional memberships
- Fellow of International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- Privacy Notice
Ruth’s Privacy notice can be found here