Surrogacy: crossing the legal divide

Surrogacy is now a global reality and this brings significant challenges for intended parents, law and policy makers and lawyers in terms of managing the complex legal issues it creates.  Surrogacy is a legal, albeit restricted practice in the UK. Surrogacy also has a unique character and identity of its own that is separate from other family building methods (including adoption).

Surrogacy is governed by assisted reproduction law in the UK, which often creates international conflicts of law when intended parents enter into surrogacy arrangements abroad. Surrogacy also has its own unique legal remedy in the UK, known as a parental order, marking it out from other mainstream areas of family law. Surrogacy, and particularly international surrogacy, is a rapidly evolving area of law and there are many legal issues and pitfalls as a result of the lack of international unification of surrogacy law and differing attitudes towards surrogacy around the world.

The International Family Law Practice (2nd Edition) features a chapter on surrogacy which I have co-authored with David Hodson, a Deputy District Judge of the Principal Registry of the Family Division and partner at The International Family Law Group LLP.  Having pioneered the practice of fertility, surrogacy and parenting law in the UK and litigated the leading international surrogacy cases in the English family court, I was able to provide a valuable specialist contribution that traces the background and development of surrogacy law and practice in the UK.  This major practitioner reference book provides comprehensive coverage of the international elements of English family law and marks the intersection of assisted reproduction and family law.

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