As part of National Surrogacy Week 2022, Alice Mantle and Antonia Felix answer some frequently asked questions regarding surrogacy.
To learn more about surrogacy, speak with our Surrogacy and Modern Families team, or visit us at The Modern Family Show on Saturday 10 September 2022.
Is surrogacy legal?
Surrogacy is legal in the UK. However, commercial surrogacy arrangements, including negotiating or advertising for surrogacy arrangements, are not.
In many European countries, surrogacy is not legal.
Who will be the child's legal parent?
In the UK, upon birth the surrogate will be the child's legal mother (and her husband will be considered the legal father). After birth the intended parent(s) can apply for a Parental Order to make them the legal parent(s).
Who can apply for a Parental Order?
Couples or single applicants can apply for Parental Orders. At least one of the applicants must have a biological link to the child.
When Parental Orders were first introduced, only heterosexual married couples could apply but after successful campaigning same-sex couples, unmarried couples and single applicants can now apply.
Can you pay a surrogate?
Yes, you can pay a surrogate reasonable expenses. If a surrogate is paid more than reasonable expenses then the court will be asked to retrospectively authorise these additional payments when considering a Parental Order application.
If the surrogate withdraws her consent, what can the intended parents do?
Intended parents should be reassured that it is very rare for surrogates to withdraw their consent.
On these rare occasions, the court cannot make a Parental Order, but alternative orders can be made to determine arrangements for the child in accordance with their best interests.
When can you apply for a Parental Order?
The application should be made within six months of the child's birth. The court will exercise discretion and frequently makes Parental Orders when this requirement has not been met. However, it is important to make the application as soon as possible.