We have helped many parents who are building their families through surrogacy, and we offer specialist advice to parents who are planning or have had children through surrogacy both in the UK and overseas.
We understand that surrogacy law can be complex and frustrating, and it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start. With a wealth of experience in helping families like yours, our advice is clear, practical and bespoke to your situation.
There are lots of things that you’ll need to consider if you are having a baby through surrogacy overseas, and it’s important to understand the practical and legal issues that may impact your plans.
We can explain:
- UK surrogacy law and its impact on your parental status
- the interaction between UK law and the law in the country where your baby will be born
- the legal status of any surrogacy agreement you have in place
- the steps you will need to take to bring your child home
- the parental order court process, which will secure your legal status as parents
Surrogacy in the UK
We have also helped many parents who are having children through surrogacy in the UK, and offer support throughout your journey.
We can guide you through:
- the rules surrounding treatment at a UK fertility clinic
- legal parenthood and parental responsibility issues
- the legal status of surrogacy agreements
- the rules surrounding egg and sperm donation
- the birth registration process
- the interaction with medical professionals, before, during and after the birth
- the parental order court process
Is surrogacy legal in the UK?
Yes, surrogacy is legal in the UK. It’s not illegal to be a surrogate, and it’s not illegal to have a child through surrogacy. However, there are some restrictions around profit-making and advertising.
Is it illegal to pay a surrogate in the UK?
It’s not illegal to pay a surrogate in the UK for her reasonable expenses, but the court will look at payments which have been made to her and what they relate to as part of the parental order process.
It’s illegal for people or organisations to make money through arranging commercial surrogacy, which is why the only agencies which operate in the UK are non-profit agencies.
What is a parental order?
A parental order is a court order which transfers legal parentage from the surrogate (and her spouse if she’s married) to the intended parents. Once a parental order has been granted, the surrogate (and her spouse if she is married) will no longer have any legal connection to the child. Intended parents can only apply for a parental order once their child has been born.
What is a surrogacy agreement and is it legally binding?
A surrogacy agreement is a document which is signed by you and your surrogate, which should reflect the decisions you have reached in respect of the surrogacy arrangement.
Surrogacy agreements are not legally binding, but it’s a very good idea to have a written document in place, to help ensure that you are all on the same page about how things will work and to encourage you to discuss sensitive issues.
Will we be entitled to maternity and paternity leave after surrogacy?
If you are expecting a baby through surrogacy and you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will be entitled statutory adoption leave and pay (the equivalent of statutory maternity leave and pay). One of the criteria is that you must intend to apply for a parental order.
Only one of you can claim adoption leave, and the other parent will then be entitled to 2 weeks’ paternity leave (as long as they meet the eligibility requirements). You also have the option of applying for shared parental leave, which means you can either both stay at home with your baby for the first six months, or stagger your leave over the year.
I am a surrogate - what are my maternity rights?
If you are a surrogate and are employed, your statutory maternity rights will be the same as anyone else who is having a baby. The fact that you are acting as a surrogate won’t impact on your rights to maternity leave and pay.