Creating a family through surrogacy is increasingly becoming a family building option of choice. Surrogacy enables you to start a family and have a much wanted biological child.
Surrogacy in the UK is legally restricted. Under UK law a surrogacy agreement is not recognised as a legally binding contract. In addition, UK law prohibits intended parents from advertising for a surrogate or surrogate mothers from advertising that they are willing to carry a surrogate pregnancy.
The process can raise complex legal issues, particularly in relation to international surrogacy. English law treats a surrogate mother (and her spouse or civil partner) as a surrogate born child's legal parents (with parental responsibility) at birth. This means that one or both intended parents will not have any legal status for a surrogate born child at birth, irrespective of the child's biological parents and no matter where in the world the surrogacy arrangement takes place.
International surrogacy can create international conflicts of law due to the lack of international harmonisation of surrogacy laws. This can leave surrogate born children 'stateless and parentless' and without travel papers to enable them to travel home with their intended parents. It can also engage UK public policy which seeks to restrict commercial surrogacy in the UK.
The decision to start a family is central to many people's lives. Creating your family through surrogacy can also be emotionally challenging as you navigate your way through the process and grapple with the legal complexities.
How we can help
We have successfully represented intended parents in numerous ground-breaking cases and helped to shape UK surrogacy laws. It is important that you seek specialist advice before entering into any surrogacy agreement to legally protect your surrogate born child. We can guide you through the relevant legal issues and assist with the acquisition of legal status for a surrogate born child.
- Advise on surrogacy law in the UK
- Advise on acquisition of legal parenthood for a surrogate born child
- Advise on acquisition of parental responsibility for a surrogate born child
- Advise on the application of UK surrogacy law internationally
- Advise and represent you in an application for a Parental Order
- Advise and represent you in the event of a surrogacy dispute
- Prepare specialist wills for intended parents and surrogates.
For further information please contact Louisa Ghevaert, Partner and Head of the Fertility and Parenting Team at Michelmores.
email@example.com or call +44(0)207 7886382.