It is unusual for problems to occur with a surrogacy arrangement, mainly because they are generally entered into with a great deal of care by intended parents and surrogates.
If problems do arise, intended parents or a surrogate can apply to the English Family Court for a range of court orders to secure care and legal status for the child. The court will carefully consider the case and make a fact based decision in the best interests of the child.
There have only been a limited number of cases in the UK dealing with disputes between a surrogate mother and intended parents. In the Matter of Re N (a child) 2007, the surrogate parents sought to retain the child (who was eighteen months old by the time of the trial) and the intended parents were awarded care of the child by the English Family Court.
The publicised case of In the matter of TT (a minor) 2011, whereby the surrogate mother was awarded care of the child by the English Family Court, was set against a heavily contested and complex set of background circumstances and represents a difficult fact specific decision in the child’s best interests.
There have been a small number of subsequent cases where the English Family Court has determined legal status and arrangements for a surrogate born child following a dispute, including the case of JP v LP & Ors  (I legally represented the father).