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Ruth Cabeza

Ruth 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.

"She is the go-to person for cases involving inter-country adoption and has notable skills in child trafficking and Hague Convention abductions."
Chambers and Partners, 2017

"Highly regarded children law barrister sought after for her expertise in international children law matters including adoption, surrogacy and abduction. Other matters handled include shaken baby cases and international finance matters. She has been involved in landmark matters that have advanced the law."
Chambers and Partners, 2018

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
Although Ruth is well versed in the operation of the various international instruments that govern mutual recognition and enforcement of adoption/parental responsibility orders, she is not an expert in the law and practice of Family Law outside of England and Wales, and is therefore unable to advise on the orders/procedures/timescales/costings for obtaining mirror orders/declarations of enforceability in other jurisdictions.  As a member of IAFL she is often well placed to advise on suitable experts for this purpose.


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 (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:
  • Residence
  • Contact
  • Relocation cases (domestic and international)
  • Abduction (within the UK, Hague, non-Hague)
  • Inherent jurisdiction/wardship cases
  • Education
  • Change of name
  • Declarations of parentage
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