Natural conception of a child occurs in a number of different situations including a:

  • casual one-off relationship
  • longer term relationship without marriage
  • marriage

Today's relationships require you to "plan for parenthood" because situations may change and breakdown. Before you conceive you need to understand: the legal issues including legal parenthood and parental responsibility, as well as financial, practical and emotional implications for you, your child and the other parent. Parenthood is a life-long legal commitment and governs: 

  • financial responsibility to the child  (Child Maintenance Service and The Family Court)
  • inheritance rights
  • the ability to bring and defend legal proceedings in relation to a child
  • citizenship and nationality
  • identity

Parental responsibility governs decision-making for the upbringing and welfare of a child. There are number of ways parental responsibility can be acquired and exercised under English Law and it  governs a wide range of issues, including: medical, educational and religious decisions, management of financial resources for a child, relocation in the UK and worldwide.

Natural conception may not always be possible. Assisted conception and fertility treatment can help you have a much wanted child or sibling, if you have experienced:

  • unexplained or secondary infertility
  • cancer or medical issues 
  • vasectomy
  • hysterectomy 
  • ectopic pregnancy or recurrent miscarriage

The ability to have or complete your family by natural conception is not guaranteed and you may need to consider other options including: 

Fertility treatment

Donor conception

Surrogacy

Adoption

How we can help

You need to secure expert independent confidential advice before setting out on each journey to parenthood. Every relationship and individuals' circumstances are unique and can change. We apply the Law to your situation, ensuring every angle is covered in the short, medium and longer-term. Protect you, your child and your wider family to secure happiness, peace of mind and financial security.

We provide tailored and expert wide reaching legal advice on:

  • acquisition of legal parenthood for a child
  • acquisition of parental responsibility for a child
  • care and upbringing of a child
  • legal risk analysis in your situation
  • financial provision for a child
  • fertility law in the UK
  • donor conception in the UK
  • resolution of a dispute about arrangements for a child
  • managing relationship breakdown
  • preparation of specialist 'Family Proof' Wills

To find out more about our legal services click here.

Gain an understanding of wider issues and development of and current fertility topics, parenting, donor conception and family law in the UK and internationally. Click here to visit our Media and Publications section. 

You can find out more about assisted conception, donation and family law in the UK in our resource hub.

Arrange an introductory meeting with Louisa Ghevaert, Partner and Head of the Fertility and Parenting Team at Michelmores: email louisa.ghevaert@michelmores.com or telephone +44(0)207 7886382.

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