Surrogacy - FAQs
What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is an arrangement whereby a woman (the surrogate) carries a pregnancy on behalf of another (intended parent). Creating a family through surrogacy is an increasingly popular family building option. Surrogacy enables you to start a family and have a much wanted child.
Is surrogacy legal?
Surrogacy in the UK is legally restricted. In particular, UK public policy seeks to restrict commercial surrogacy. Under UK law a surrogacy agreement is not recognised as a legally binding contract and intended parents and surrogates are prevented from advertising.
What is commercial surrogacy?
Commercial surrogacy is where the surrogate is paid a sum of money for carrying the pregnancy on behalf of the intended parents, in addition to reasonable pregnancy related expenses. There is a UK public policy legal restriction against commercial surrogacy.
What is altruistic surrogacy?
Altruistic surrogacy is where the surrogate is only paid her reasonable pregnancy related expenses for carrying the pregnancy on behalf of the intended parent/s.
Can we use our eggs and sperm?
A host or gestational surrogate is where the surrogate has no biological connection with the child and the child is conceived using the egg and/or sperm of the intended parents.
Straight surrogacy is where a surrogate carries a child for intended parents using her egg and the intended father's sperm. In this way, the surrogate is the biological mother of the child.
To obtain a parental order (the legal solution for surrogacy in the UK) there must be a biological connection between the child and at least one of the intended parents.
What happens if the surrogate changes her mind?
Under UK law a surrogacy agreement is not recognised as a legally binding contract. The surrogate is the child's legal mother at birth under English Law. A parental order is the post birth legal solution for surrogacy in the UK.
How can we make surrogacy legally binding?
In the UK a parental order is the post birth legal solution for surrogacy. It gives intended parents the legal rights and responsibilities they need to make their child a legal member of their family and care for them in the UK.
A parental order reassigns legal parenthood and parental responsibility from a surrogate (and her spouse or civil partner if applicable) to a child's intended parents and extinguishes the legal rights and responsibilities of the surrogate parent/s for the child for English legal purposes.
The grant of a parental order by the English Family Court leads to the issue of a British birth certificate which names the intended parents as the surrogate born child's parents.
For further legal advice and assistance please contact Louisa Ghevaert, Partner and Head of the Fertility and Parenting Team at Michelmores, by email email@example.com or call +44 (0)207 7886382.