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5 Things to know about Surrogacy in England

05.05.2018 / Kerstin Beyer

1. Is surrogacy legal or illegal in England?

Surrogacy in the UK is restricted which is why England is not generally known as a destination country for people trying to have a child with the help of a surrogate. However, it can be done and happens more and more often nowadays.

2. Is a surrogacy agreement enforceable in England?

A surrogacy agreement is not an enforceable contract under English law which means that you have to trust each other to do what you have promised to do such as handing over the baby in the case of the surrogate or paying the surrogate’s expenses in the case of the intended parents to name just two examples. And it is a criminal offence to make or negotiate an agreement on a commercial basis (i.e. for money). This means that it is not illegal for you and your surrogate to negotiate an agreement between yourselves but it is illegal for us lawyers to help you negotiate the agreement and be paid for it. What we can do, however, is help you to become the legal parents of your child.

3. How do I become the legal mother of our child born through surrogacy?

The woman who gives birth to a child is always treated as the legal mother under English law. Therefore, if a surrogate helps you to become parents she will be the legal mother of any child/children she carries. This is the case even if a donor egg was used and she is not genetically related to the child she gives birth to. You will therefore have to apply for a parental order to become the legal mother of the child.

4. How do I become the legal father of our child born through surrogacy?

If your surrogate does not have a partner or is not married or in a civil partnership it is possible for you to be treated as the legal father if you are the genetic father of the baby or if your name is put on the birth certificate. If, however, the surrogate is married or in a civil partnership then her husband/partner will be the legal parent of the child and you will have to apply for a parental order too.

5. Do we need a lawyer to represent us to obtain a parental order?

You do not need to have a lawyer to make the application but you may find it helpful if we guide you through the process.

Have we answered your questions? Give us a call on 02079364644!


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