Surrogacy Law Solicitors
For many modern families, surrogacy has become an increasingly viable option – both in terms of accessibility and cost. But surrogacy arrangements rely heavily on trust.
The surrogate entrusts the welfare of the child they are carrying to the intended parent(s), and they trust the surrogate to transfer parental rights. For the agreement to work, communication and empathy is a must – on both sides of the relationship.
If you’re considering using a surrogate or you’re in a surrogacy agreement, you should seek specialist legal advice from a surrogacy solicitor as early as possible. Our expert surrogacy lawyers help single people, same sex and heterosexual couples, and can advise you on all aspects of UK and international surrogacy.
What rights does a surrogate have?
Under UK surrogacy law, the surrogate (and, if married, their husband) will be the child’s legal parents. The surrogate has the legal right to keep the child, even if the baby was conceived using donor eggs or embryos and isn’t genetically related to them.
Surrogacy contracts aren’t legally enforceable, even when entered into and signed by all parties. To become the legal parent of a child born to a surrogate, you only have two options: apply for a Parental Order or adopt the child.
Becoming the child’s legal parents
Apply for a Parental Order
Put simply, a Parental Order is a legal method of transferring parenthood from the surrogate mother (and their spouse/partner, if they are married) to the child’s intended parent(s).
An application for a Parental Order must be made before the child is six months old, but not before the child is six weeks old.
To apply for a Parental Order, you must be genetically related to the child (i.e. the egg, embryo or sperm donor).
If neither you nor your spouse/partner is genetically related to the child (i.e. you used donated sperm and eggs), your only option is adoption. If this is the route you’re taking, you must include a registered adoption agency in the surrogacy process.
Get in touch with our surrogacy solicitors
Surrogacy is an emotional commitment and agreements can provide clarity to ensure that all parties’ intentions and expectations are set out in a clear and concise way. The intention of an agreement is to establish from the outset each person(s) expectations and wishes with the surrogacy arrangement. If you’re considering surrogacy or becoming a surrogate, it’s important that you understand the surrogacy process from start to conclusion.
Our specialist surrogacy solicitors can advise you on a range of issues, including international surrogacy, the legal rights of surrogates and parental rights. We work with people across the UK from our offices in Bristol and the surrounding area, in Bedminster, Bishopston, Bristol city centre, Kingswood and Thornbury.