A parental order is the post birth legal solution for surrogacy in the UK.  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 mother (and her spouse or civil partner) 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.

Failure to obtain a parental order can leave intended parents, surrogate born children and surrogate mothers (and their spouses or civil partners) in a legally unresolved position.  This creates complex legal issues and difficulties including:

  • One or both intended parents will lack legal parenthood for their surrogate born child
  • One or both intended parents will lack parental responsibility for their surrogate born child
  • The surrogate mother (and her spouse or civil partner) will retain legal parenthood for the surrogate born child
  • The surrogate mother (and her spouse or civil partner) will retain parental responsibility for the surrogate born child
  • One or both intended parents may not be financially responsible for their surrogate born child

Intended parents must meet specific legal criteria to be eligible to apply to the English Family Court and obtain a parental order for their surrogate born child.

How we can help you

We provide supportive experienced expert legal advice on:

  • eligibility for a parental order
  • an application and process for a parental order following surrogacy
  • acquisition and operation of parental responsibility
  • managing arrangements for surrogate born children following relationship breakdown
  • financial provision for a surrogate born child
  • preparation of specialist "Family Proof" Wills

To find out more about our legal services click here.

Find out more about children, surrogacy and family law in the UK in our resource hub.

Gain an understanding of wider issues in the development of and current issues surrounding children, surrogacy and family law in the UK and internationally. Click here to visit our Media and Publications section. 

Arrange a 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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