Suzi Denton
Associate Solicitor
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Date Published:31 Mar 2020 Last Updated:21 Jul 2021

Intended parents going through international surrogacy facing challenges due to Covid-19

Fertility Law

Due to restrictions which have been put in place following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, intended parents who are going through surrogacy overseas are now facing a very difficult and uncertain time.

Some parents are finding that they are unable to travel to be with their surrogate for their child’s birth due to travel restrictions, which must be a heartbreaking prospect. One French couple have been separated, with one parent travelling to the USA prior to the implementation of the travel restrictions, whilst the other parent remains in the France facing the prospect of missing the birth of his child.

Other parents are unable to return home to the UK following the birth, leaving them stranded overseas for an indefinite period of time. Some report being unable to obtain the necessary travel documentation for their child to enable them to return home, leaving them caring for their newborn baby, miles from home, with no certainty as to when they can come home. They will undoubtedly also be concerned about their entitlement to health care provision in the event that they fall ill overseas during the course of a pandemic.

International surrogacy presents intended parents with many different practical and logistical issues which need to be carefully thought through and managed, but no amount of planning will have prepared those involved for these circumstances. Parents will have already been through a great deal, emotionally, physically and financially to get to this point, and to be faced with these challenges at the end of a long and difficult journey will be incredibly stressful and upsetting.

We hope that policies and measures are put in place urgently by governments working together to help these parents navigate their way through this turbulent time, enabling them to be with their children as soon as possible, and to return home to the UK without delay.

Suzi Denton is an Associate Solicitor in our Fertility team, and advises parents who are having children through surrogacy in the UK and overseas. If you would like to speak to our expert Fertility Solicitors, please email us at fertility@ellisjones.co.uk or call us on 01202 525333.