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Our team of leading surrogacy lawyers can provide expert legal advice on UK surrogacy arrangements.
If you have or are considering creating your family through a UK (sometimes called “domestic”) surrogacy arrangement, it’s important to take legal advice to make sure you - and your partner if you have one - are recognised as the legal parents of your child. We can help you understand the legal issues at any stage of your surrogacy journey whether it is before using a surrogate, during the pregnancy or after the birth of your child.
Our fertility lawyers are recognised as experts in UK surrogacy law and act for intended parents and surrogates. Not only do our lawyers have an in-depth knowledge of the law but we take a solution-focused approach. With seven offices based around the country we can advise you wherever you are based.
We are one of only a few firms who can offer a full service and can advise you on all aspects of a surrogacy from parental orders to specialist Wills.
Our lawyers have acted in ground-breaking cases including:
Under UK law, the woman who gives birth (the surrogate) is the legal mother of the child. It is important to be aware that she is responsible for registering the child within six weeks of the birth.
Who else is a legal parent will depend on whether the surrogate is married or in a civil partnership and, if she is single, whether fertility treatment took place at a licenced UK fertility clinic and what consent forms were signed.
The legal solution in the UK for resolving parenthood in surrogacy cases is a parental order. This is a court order which makes the intended parent(s) the legal parents of the child and permanently extinguishes the parenthood of the surrogate and her spouse. The intended parents must apply to the court for the order and a judge will assess their application. Once the order is made, the child’s birth will be re-registered to record the intended parents as the legal parents.
A parental order is essential to ensure that intended parents are recognised as legal parents of their child and have parental responsibility for them.
When making a parental order, the judge needs to be satisfied not only that making the order will be in the child’s best interests but that a number of specific criteria have been met:
If intended parents do not obtain a parental order in the UK they will not be recognised as their child’s legal parents. We can help advise intended parents and surrogates to navigate the process of applying for a parental order and help legally protect parents.
More and more children are born every year using assisted reproduction involving either co-parents (two people who are not in a relationship together but want to have a child), a sperm donor, an egg donor or a surrogate. So who is a parent in these situations and why does it matter?
Who is a parent and who is a child? Why legal parental status matters to us all
Many people aren’t aware that, if a child is born through a surrogacy arrangement, the surrogate mother will be the legal mother of the child. If the child is born in the UK the surrogate mother will always appear on the child’s birth certificate as the mother. Read more...
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