Everything you need to know about surrogacy

At MSB our experts are regularly approached by potential clients seeking advice and guidance in relation to surrogacy. 

In this blog, we will explore the law surrounding surrogacy as well as the process itself. 

What is surrogacy? 

Surrogacy is when a woman carries and gives birth to a child for another person or couple. 

Who typically uses a surrogate? 

Surrogacy is often used by women suffering from a medical condition that makes it difficult or dangerous for them to carry a baby themselves. 

Surrogacy is also regularly used for male same sex couples and single people wishing to start a family. 

Types of surrogacy 

There are two types of surrogacy: 

  1. Full surrogacy – when the egg of the intended mother (not the surrogate) or a donor are used and there is no genetic connection between the surrogate and the baby.
  2. Partial surrogacy – when the surrogate’s egg is fertilized by the intended father

Who are the baby’s parents at birth? 

The surrogate will be the baby’s legal parent when it is born. 

If the surrogate is married or in a civil partnership then their spouse or civil partner will be the baby’s second legal parent at birth – unless they did not give their permission. 

In order for the intended parent(s) to become the baby’s legal parent(s) they must apply to the Family Court for a Parental Order. 

The court process 

Before applying to court an intended parent must ensure: 

  • The intended parent or their partner must be genetically related to the baby i.e., be the egg or sperm donor 
  • If the intended parent is applying with their partner, then they must be married, civil partners or living as partners. 
  • The baby must also be living with the intended parent(s) following its birth and the intended parent(s) must reside permanently in either the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man. 

You must apply for a Parental Order within six months of the baby’s birth. 

At MSB, we can assist in preparing the necessary application to court on behalf of the intended parent(s).  

You will have to provide the court with the baby’s full birth certificate and DNA evidence confirming the genetic link between at least one of the intended parents and baby.  

The court fee for issuing the application for a Parental Order is currently £232.  

A hearing date will be set and the surrogate and anyone else who is a parent of the child will have to provide their consent to the Parental Order being made. Again, we can help you every step of the way in this process. 

The court will consider what evidence it needs and will usually ask for a report to be prepared by a parental order reporter.  

Once the court has all the evidence it needs, a decision will be made as to whether to grant a parental order. 

At MSB, our family solicitors are regularly instructed on behalf of both potential surrogates and intended parents. We pride ourselves on offering first class service to our clients and are committed to going above and beyond to ensure that your surrogacy experience runs as smoothly as possible. 

Read more: From 10 years to 55: Storage period of embryos extended

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If we can be of any assistance do not hesitate to contact us on 0151 281 9040.