Ruth Cabeza

Call: 1998

"A font of all knowledge regarding adoption law, solicitors absolute faith in her representation of their clients."
Legal 500 UK Bar 2022

Ruth is a specialist family law practitioner who has been at forefront of developments in adoption and surrogacy case law, she is also an expert in the field of international abduction.

Ruth is a forceful and robust practitioner in court. Her breadth and depth of knowledge and experience across all fields of family law, enables Ruth to provide clients with a clear view on case direction and strategy, whilst also taking into account the emotional context of each case which can often provide the key to unlocking how a matter will be best progressed.

Ruth’s specialities include: international adoption, international surrogacy, international abduction, complex care cases – particularly cases involving overseas placements and/or non-accidental injury, medical treatment orders and financial remedy.

Ruth Cabeza is a part time Deemster for the Isle of Man and sits in the island’s High Court of Justice.


To instruct Ruth or for more information…

Call: 020 7353 6961

Practice Areas

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.

Notable Public Law Children cases

Salford City Council v Lee [2021] EWHC 1689 (Fam)
Salford City Council v W & Ors [2021] EWHC 61 (Fam) (19 January 2020)

Inherent jurisdiction (declaratory not children)

M (Special Guardianship Order: Leave To Apply To Discharge) (Rev 1) [2021] EWCA Civ 442
T (A Child : habitual residence) [2021] EWFC 26
A (fact finding, rib injuries), Re [2019] EWFC B89 (30 September 2019)


Re A (Withdrawal of Applications) [2019] EWHC 709 (Fam)

Wardship/protection against FGM and Forced Marriage

S (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 249 (24 February 2017)


Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Foundation NHS Trust v NO & KK & Ors [2017] EWHC 241 (Fam) (14 February 2017)

Inherent jurisdiction children (medical treatment)

A Local Authority v J & Y [2017] EWHC 10 (Fam) (01 February 2017)


Y (Children), Re [2016] EWCA Civ 1091 (08 November 2016)


D (Children), Re [2015] EWCA Civ 409 (30 April 2015)


Re F-T (A child) (2015) EWCA Civ 880


London Borough of Tower Hamlets v D & Ors [2014] EWHC 3901 (Fam) (13 November 2014)


Re C (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 128

Care – guidance on proceedings involving profoundly deaf parent

RO v A Local Authority & Ors [2014] EWHC 97 (Fam) (27 January 2014)


D (A Child) [2012] EWHC 4231 (Fam) (14 December 2012)


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.

Notable Surrogacy cases

Re X [2020] EWFC 39 (20 May 2020)
RS v T (Surrogacy: Service, Consent and Payments) [2015] EWFC 22 (13 March 2015)
Re B v C (Surrogacy: Adoption) [2015] EWFC 17 (13 February 2015)
CC v DD [2014] EWHC 1307 (Fam) (14 February 2014)
Re C (Surrogacy: authorisation of payments other than reasonable expenses) [2013] EWHC 2408 (Fam)
Re: IJ (A Child): [2011] EWHC 921 (Fam)

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:

  • child arrangements orders
  • relocation cases (domestic and international)
  • Abduction (within the UK, Hague, non-Hague)
  • Inherent jurisdiction/wardship cases
  • Education
  • Change of name
  • Declarations of parentage

Notable Private Law Children cases

Re V and W (Hague Return Order, Lithuania) [2022] EWHC 739 (Fam)


KS v MK [2015] EWHC 3276 (Fam) (29 October 2015)



What the directories say

'A calm presence in court and reassuring to clients.'
Legal 500 UK Bar 2021

'She has great gravitas and is a good, solid, all-round performer.'
Chambers UK Bar 2021

'Always has a clear view on case direction and strategy not only legally, but taking into account the emotional context that can often be the key to unlocking how a matter would be best progressed.'
Legal 500 UK Bar 2021

'A tenacious advocate who does incredibly well in the area of international abduction.'
Chambers UK Bar 2020

'She’s a very robust practitioner, who is an expert in the field of international adoption.” “Fiery and forceful in court.”
Chambers UK Bar 2019

Related News

Ruth Cabeza appointed part time Deemster for the Isle of Man

We are delighted to announce that Ruth Cabeza has been appointed part time Deemster for the Isle of Man and will sit in the island’s High Court of Justice.

YP (Adoption of 18 Year Old) [2021] EWHC 3168 (Fam) (26 November 2021)

Ruth Cabeza acted for YP, the second respondent, in a case concerning an adoption order. YP, a Swiss national now aged 18, was the subject of an application for a…

Habitual residence in the context of international adoption

Ruth Cabeza examines the issues arising in the case of Enfield London Borough Council v K and another [2021] EWFC 26 [2021] All ER (D) 134 (Mar) for Lexis Nexis.…


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