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Surrogacy Law

Legal Guidance for Surrogacy

We are able to offer advice and guidance to take you through the legalities of the surrogacy process. It is perfectly legal for you to have a child through surrogacy either in the UK or abroad.

However, what is not allowed is:

  • Advertising - you cannot advertise that you are looking for a surrogate mother or want to be a surrogate
  • Commercial brokering - it is a criminal offence for a third party (i.e. not a surrogate or intended parents) to provide matching services for profit

Once a child is born the intended parents (in England and Wales) who are couples need to apply to the family court in England and Wales for a parental order within six months after the birth, wherever in the world their child is born.

Our specialist surrogacy solicitors are able to help you prepare the application and represent you throughout the process to enable you to obtain the parental order.

In order to be successful the first consideration for the court is whether the order is in your child’s best interests.

In addition there are a number of evidential steps you need to take to enable the court to make the parental order as follows:

  • Be able to show that the child was born through surrogacy and conception took place artificially.
  • Evidence that you are a couple in a marriage/civil partnership or stable cohabiting relationship, and are both over 18.
  • Prove that at least one of you is your child’s biological parent.
  • Show that at least one of you is domiciled in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.
  • Your child must be in your care when you apply.
  • Evidence consent - Your surrogate mother and her husband or civil partner (if she has one) must fully and freely consent to the order. Your surrogate cannot validly give her consent until your child is six weeks old.
  • Finally, satisfy that court that no more has been paid to your surrogate and any agency involved than 'reasonable expenses' or, alternatively, ask the court to agree to authorise the payment (after careful scrutiny of the facts).

If your child is born through surrogacy in the UK and you pay no more than reasonable expenses then your application is likely to be straightforward. If you pay more than reasonable expenses (and/or you go abroad), then the process will be more complicated as the High Court will have to consider this more carefully. We can advise you further in respect of this.