UK surrogacy laws

If you are thinking about surrogacy in the UK or abroad, you should find out about  surrogacy law in the UK and what this will mean for you -whether you are single, married, cohabiting or in a same-sex relationship or civil partnership.

There are many legal issues to think about. Surrogacy arrangements are not legally binding and there are legal restrictions (with criminal penalties) designed to prevent advertising and restrict commercial surrogacy  in the UK.

Foreign birth certificates and court orders regarding surrogate born children will not be automatically recognised in the UK.  You will therefore need to secure your family’s legal status under English law, usually by way of a parental order (the legal solution for surrogacy in the UK).  International surrogacy can also create complex citizenship, nationality and immigration law issues.

Surrogacy legislation in the UK

Surrogacy is regulated by legislation in the UK.  Its purpose was to restrict commercially arranged surrogacy and limit surrogacy to small numbers of altruistic arrangements.  Although surrogacy law was updated in 2008 as part of a wider review of UK fertility law, its legal framework was not fundamentally overhauled.

Websites with information about surrogacy

COTS – short for Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy – is a UK not for profit organisation which helps put intended parents in touch with prospective surrogate mothers and is run by people with experience of surrogacy

Surrogacy UK – is a UK not for profit organisation with a surrogacy community and helps intended parents get in touch with prospective surrogate mothers through networking events

HFEA – short for The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority- provides a wealth of information about the fertility sector in general, including surrogacy

HMCS- short for Her Majesty’s Court Service- where you can access parental order application forms (specifically forms C51 application form and C52 acknowledgement form)

Surrogacy: the value of expert legal advice

Surrogacy law in the UK is complex and there are many potential pitfalls and difficulties.  The right expert legal advice can help you proactively and efficiently manage the legal issues from the start.

I am internationally recognised as a leading expert in both international and UK surrogacy law.  I have pioneered the practice of surrogacy law in the UK having litigated English High Court international surrogacy case Re: IJ (a Child) 2011, which awarded legal parenthood to a British couple to safeguard their surrogate born child born stateless and parentless in the Ukraine, Re L (a minor) 2010, marking the legal watershed that the child’s welfare is the paramount consideration of the court except in the clearest case of abuse of public policy and Re X and Y (foreign surrogacy) 2008, the first international commercial surrogacy arrangement to be authorised by the English High court.  I have a wealth of surrogacy law experience and can provide invaluable help and support for your family no matter where in the world you conceive through surrogacy.

For more information visit contact me by email louisa.ghevaert@michelmores.com if you would like advice about the following:

- UK surrogacy law (including legal parenthood, parental responsibility, birth certificates, specialist Wills, parental order eligibility and court process and regulation of UK surrogacy)

- International surrogacy law (including navigating citizenship and nationality issues and entry into the UK with your surrogate born child, acquisition of legal status to protect your family in the UK and expert support for families with a multi-national character)

- An application to the English court for a parental order or acquisition of other legal status (ranging from limited help to enable you to represent yourself to full representation in complex cases)

- What to do in the event of a dispute (potential or actual) between intended parents and a surrogate mother and expert representation in court proceedings

- Specialist Wills