SURROGACY & INTERNATIONAL SURROGACY
YOUR EVERYS EXPERTS
Our services include:
- Surrogacy Planning for the UK and Internationally;
- Surrogacy Disputes and Litigation;
- Parental Order applications and Statements, and Children Act applications (where appropriate);
- Guidance on immigration issues and sign-posting to immigration specialists; and
- Legal advice for fertility clinics and other professionals.
Surrogacy in the UK is governed by a number of acts of Parliament, such as the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFEA 2008) and the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (ACA, 2002).
If you are considering a surrogacy arrangement in the UK, it is best to be well-informed on the laws in England and Wales to prevent any complications or disputes.
There are two terms used in surrogacy: ‘traditional surrogacy’ and ‘gestational surrogacy’. Traditional surrogacy is where the surrogate undergoes artificial insemination or IVF from the male or a sperm donor and the surrogate herself provides the eggs. Gestational surrogacy is where the surrogate carries the embryo created by the egg and sperm of the ‘intended parents’ and/or donor egg and/or donor sperm and/or donated embryos. The key to gestational surrogacy is that the surrogate is not biologically connected to the child and acts as a carrier for the pregnancy.
In England and Wales, the law states that the surrogate who gives birth to the child is the legal and biological mother, regardless of what the parties may have intended. If the surrogate is married, then her husband will be treated as the father of the child, and the intended parents are denied the same rights as parents pursuing the more traditional methods. As a result of the laws in the UK, intended parents are well-advised to plan ahead with the preparation of a Parental Order application to reassign parenthood.
This process itself can be daunting to any intended parent and selecting the right lawyer is key.
We can advise and guide you in the process itself and ensure that there is a dedicated service to the preparation of key documents, to highly-skilled representation at court.
With international arrangements, there are other factors to consider and plan for, such as the surrogacy laws in that specific country and adhering to those laws and ensuring you obtain an order from the court of that jurisdiction assigning parental rights to you, whether that is pre or post-birth.
We can ensure that, with any inter-country surrogacy arrangement, the measured steps are taken to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible, factoring in immigration status on your return to the UK, with the swift application to assign parental rights in the UK.
Should you wish to opt for an international surrogacy arrangement, we have close connections with lawyers in California who can help if the Unites States is the preferred country for your surrogacy arrangement.
We are also able to offer litigation advice and representation if such arrangements break down, with representation in the lower and the high courts.