Surrogacy and fertility law

Our surrogacy and fertility law experts provide specialist advice from surrogacy arrangements to posthumous use of embryos, and adoption to pre-conception agreements.

One of the biggest decisions you will make in your life is to have a child – or to help others create their own family. Scientific advances have fundamentally changed the way we think about how we form families. 

Whether you are planning to use surrogacy, assisted reproduction, fertility treatment, donor conception, co-parenting or adoption, the legal processes and implications can be both daunting and complex. Specialist advice is essential in this rapidly evolving, technical area of law that frequently throws up novel situations. Without it, you may encounter problems bringing your baby born outside of the UK back into the country or you may find yourself not recognised as your child’s legal parent. 

More

Advice from the outset helps avoid problems and enables you, whether you are a parent, donor or a surrogate,  to make informed decisions and achieve the best outcome. And if things do go wrong, legal advice and access to mediators, collaborative lawyers and arbitrators can help you resolve disputes time and cost effectively.  

Your main contacts

  • Colin Rogerson

    Head of Fertility Law

    Colin Rogerson

    Head of Fertility Law

    • +(44)(03443 260203
    • Contact Colin

      Contact Colin Rogerson

      * = required

       
       
         
       

      Mills & Reeve will use the information you provide in this form in accordance with our privacy policy. We may from time to time send you general updates by email or post that we think you will find of interest. This includes notification of upcoming event and updates or alerts containing relevant legal news. You can update your preferences at any time and will be able to easily unsubscribe from anything that you do not wish to receive.

      Thank you

      Thank you for your enquiry. We will be in touch shortly.

    • London
  • Rose-Marie Drury

    Principal Associate

    Rose-Marie Drury

    Principal Associate

    • +(44)(03443 276257
    • Contact Rose-Marie

      Contact Rose-Marie Drury

      * = required

       
       
         
       

      Mills & Reeve will use the information you provide in this form in accordance with our privacy policy. We may from time to time send you general updates by email or post that we think you will find of interest. This includes notification of upcoming event and updates or alerts containing relevant legal news. You can update your preferences at any time and will be able to easily unsubscribe from anything that you do not wish to receive.

      Thank you

      Thank you for your enquiry. We will be in touch shortly.

    • Manchester

Our lawyers

Our surrogacy and fertility lawyers help a wide variety of clients including individuals who have used assisted reproduction or fertility treatments, intended parents, surrogates, sperm and egg donors, co-parents, step-parents and fertility clinics. We aren’t afraid to push boundaries to find creative solutions to novel problems.  A wealth of practical experience means whatever stage of the process you are at, you are in safe and supportive hands with our team. 

Recently we have:

  • Advised intended parents on an application for a parental order following an international surrogacy arrangement where there were issues relating to the intended parents’ domicile and expenses paid to the surrogate.   
  • Advised a co-parent who was not in a relationship with the other co-parent but they planned to conceive a child together through fertility treatment. 
  • Advised a parent in an application for a declaration of parentage following IVF treatment with her then same-sex partner where issues around consent forms for legal parentage arose and it was unclear whether the same-sex partner was a legal parent. The issues arose many years after the child’s birth and the case raised novel points which meant the Secretary of State for Health became involved in the proceedings. 
  • Represented the surrogate mother in a case where the relationship between the intended parents had broken down during the pregnancy and the intended mother could not apply for a parental order, leaving the surrogate as a legal parent. This case has led to a change in the law allowing single applicants to apply for parental orders.  
  • Acted for a leading fertility clinic in several reported cases involving declarations of parentage where donors had been used to conceive, including where the parents had separated and were not in agreement about the outcome.

What do you need to know

Most parents do not need to think about whether they are their child’s legal parent, but for parents of children conceived through assisted reproduction (including donor conception, co-parenting and surrogacy), the law has some very specific rules about who is and is not a legal mother, father or parent. And it is getting legal parentage right that is often the most important priority.  

Legal parentage is an important legal relationship for both a parent and a child. It has an impact on a wide range of legal issues such as nationality, inheritance, parental responsibility, child arrangements and financial responsibility for a child. 

The law is complex and relies on strict criteria being met to ensure legal parentage is conferred. Sometimes even if you intend someone to be a legal parent the law does not recognise them as one and may recognise the legal parents as people you do not want to be legal parents such as donors or a surrogate. 

However, there are a myriad of other issues to be aware of depending on your circumstances: 

  • Relationships breaking down during fertility treatment or surrogacy
  • Donation of eggs and sperm
  • Anonymity of donors
  • The use of stored embryos after a divorce or separation
  • Posthumous conception
More

Vlogs from our fertility law and surrogacy solicitors

More
In this vlog, Caitlin Jenkins, the family law vlogger, introduces her colleague, Mills & Reeve's Rose-Marie Drury, one of the specialist children law experts at Mills & Reeve. They discuss the sort of work Rose-Marie does in supporting families and their children and her passion for supporting the reform of the law relating to Surrogacy in England & Wales.
In this vlog, Caitlin Jenkins, the familylawvlogger talks to her Mills & Reeve specialist children law colleague, Rose-Marie Drury, about Surrogacy. What is it? What should you think about if you are thinking of entering in to a Surrogacy arrangement?
In this vlog, Caitlin Jenkins, the familylawvlogger talks to her Mills & Reeve specialist children law colleague, Rose-Marie Drury, about the concept of Legal Parentage and the implications of this for those who conceive a child using a donor or through surrogacy. To find out more or to contact Rose-Marie or one of her colleagues in the Mills & Reeve specialist children team please go to www.mills-reeve.com.
Mills & Reeve Sites navigation
A tabbed collection of Mills & Reeve sites.
Sites
My Mills & Reeve navigation
Subscribe to, or manage your My Mills & Reeve account.
My M&R

Visitors

Register for My M&R to stay up-to-date with legal news and events, create brochures and bookmark pages.

Existing clients

Log in to your client extranet for free matter information, know-how and documents.

Staff

Mills & Reeve system for employees.