What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is when a woman carries a child for intended parents (or only one intended parent) and gives up her parental status when the child is born. This is usually an option for male gay couples and single men who wish to have a child without sharing responsibility with the child’s biological mother(s). It is also an option for single women and same-sex female couples who cannot carry a pregnancy.
Surrogacy is legal in the UK. However, the law prohibits third parties from arranging surrogacy for profit and prohibits advertising for surrogates, so finding a surrogate can be difficult. Once you have found a surrogate, any agreement you enter into is unenforceable under UK law.
Your surrogate is the legal mother of your child under UK law, regardless of where in the world your child was born. Who is treated as the father of your child is complicated and depends on circumstances, including biology, your surrogate’s relationship status, and where the conception took place.
So where am I standing?
The UK law solution is a parenting order, which fully and permanently reassigns parenthood to you and extinguishes the legal status and responsibilities of your surrogate mother (and her husband, wife or civil partner). This also leads to your child’s birth certificate being reissued (or a first UK birth certificate being issued if your child was born overseas) naming you both as parents. Same-sex parents can apply for a parenting order since April 6, 2010.
It is important that single fathers, as well as couples and single women, obtain a parenting order, as without it their surrogate will remain the legal mother of their child and, if the child is born outside the UK , it will only have limited status in the UK. UK to make parenting decisions.
How can we help you with your surrogacy?
When using a surrogate, an attorney can be really beneficial. A lawyer can help you acquire full parental rights for your child and can also assist you in court hearings, prepare statements in support of your claim, and gather relevant surrogacy documents. Your attorney will also be able to help you draft an agreement with your surrogate, if you choose to have one.
If you have an international surrogacy agreement, a solicitor can help you get your child to the UK as quickly as possible and can help you with immigration, nationality and passport applications. A lawyer can also help you if you have problems with your surrogate.
Speak to our family law specialists
If you need further advice, please contact our family law experts on 01895 207819 or email [email protected]