What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is the process by which a woman (surrogate) carries a child for another person or a couple (intended parent(s)), usually with the intention of transferring her legal rights, duties and obligations in respect of that child to the intended parents by way of a ‘parental order’, which is made through the courts.
In some cases, the surrogate’s own eggs are used to create the embryo, in other cases the intended parent’s egg is used, or a donor egg. IVF procedures are used to create an embryo which is transferred in to the surrogate’s uterus.
The surrogacy arrangement may be domestic (i.e. take place in the jurisdiction of England and Wales), or it may be international. If it is an international arrangement, consideration will need to be given to immigration matters.
How Can We Help?
In England and Wales, the woman who gives birth to the child (the surrogate) is recognised in law as that child’s legal mother, even if she has no biological link to that child.
It is therefore necessary for intended parents to apply for a parental order, to confer all the rights, duties, responsibilities in relation to that child to them, and for them to be recognised as the child’s legal parents, and extinguish the surrogate’s (and her spouse’s if she is married) parentage.
It is important for the surrogate and the intended parents to take legal advice before proceeding, and as early as possible.
We are here to offer support, advice and assistance through what can be a complex, emotional and momentous journey, including advising:
- surrogates and intended parents who are considering a surrogacy arrangement, and we can advise in relation to legal parenthood, and address any potential risks in relation to that.
- in relation to the application for the parental order, including preparation of the necessary paperwork, provision of representation at the court hearings, and we can liaise with the surrogate mother and ensure the correct procedures are followed.
- if disputes arise between the surrogate and intended parents.
Our Family Law team can advise on surrogacy so please get in touch if you would like to find out more.