Parental Order Solicitors
If you have used surrogacy to start a family, you will want to ensure parental rights are transferred from the surrogate mother to you as the intended parent or parents. This can be done by using a Parental Order.
What is a Parental Order?
A Parental Order is a legal court order which makes the intended parent or parents the legal parents of a child. The Order permanently surrenders the parenthood of the surrogate (and her spouse).
Once a Parental Order is accepted by the court and made, the birth is re-registered to record the intended parent/s as the legal parent/s, and a new birth certificate is issued. The original birth certificate is kept on the Parental Order Register; this will only be accessible to the child once they are over 18 years of age.
How do I apply for a Parental Order?
You must fill in a form C51 for a Parental Order and submit it to the local family court within six months of the child’s birth and before the child reaches six years of age. A specialist child law solicitor can advise you on the application process and help ensure it gets submitted in time.
When applying for a Parental Order, you will need to provide the child’s full birth certificate and your marriage or civil partnership certificate, if applicable. You will also need to pay a court fee.
Once the court receives your application, they will set a date for a hearing and issue you with a C52 acknowledgement form that you must serve on your surrogate (birth mother).
The surrogate mother, and their spouse, if applicable, must agree to the Parental Order on form A101A. Disputes over surrogacy are rare, however, in the event you become involved in a surrogacy dispute, our expert solicitors can advise you what to do next and ensure conflict is kept to a minimum.
Conditions for applying for a Parental Order
Before a Parental Order is granted by the court, certain conditions must be met, such as:
- At least one of the intended parents must be biologically related to the child.
- The intended parent(s) must be over 18 years old.
- For joint applications, the intended parents must be married, in a civil partnership or in an enduring family relationship, i.e. not platonic friends living together.
- The surrogate, and her spouse, if relevant, must fully consent.
- The child must be living with their intended parent(s) on the date of the application and the Parental Order.
- No money can be exchanged, except reasonable expenses.
Our Parental Order expertise
Our child law solicitors understand how sensitive surrogacy can be and that it’s often an emotional time for both the surrogate and intended parent/s. Our children lawyers offer sympathetic and practical support to help you every step of the way.
Our fertility lawyers can also advise you on related aspects of Parental Orders such as drafting surrogacy arrangements and advising on surrogates’ rights.
Contact our child law solicitors in Bristol and South Gloucestershire
If you are considering applying for a Parental Order, or are seeking advice on any other surrogate arrangement or dispute, our specialist children law solicitors can help. Call us on 0117 325 2929 or fill out our online enquiry form.