Surrogacy and Modern Families

At Mishcon de Reya LLP, we understand that modern family-building including through surrogacy, assisted reproduction and donor conception are increasingly popular options. Our experienced Family team are able to advise you as to the legal implications of entering into such arrangements, ensuring that your journey to family building can be navigated as smoothly as possible.

Surrogacy

Surrogacy laws in the UK are complex. We are able to advise as to the legal implications of entering into a surrogacy arrangement, including what steps should be taken to ensure that you / your partner obtain the status of the child’s legal parents. Planning should be undertaken as early as possible to ensure that you and your family are properly protected. Decisions will need to be made, including whether a domestic or overseas surrogacy arrangement best meets your family’s needs. Entering into an overseas surrogacy arrangement is becoming an increasingly popular option. However, it is often misunderstood that even if parties are treated as a child’s legal parents in the overseas country of the child’s birth, in order to secure legal status as the child’s parents in the UK, steps will need to be taken on return including by way of an application for a Parental Order.

Our Family and Immigration teams work together closely to ensure you are able to consider all options in respect to overseas surrogacy arrangements. How your child will be able to live with you in the UK once born, is an important consideration in any overseas surrogacy arrangement. The UK laws on surrogacy have evolved separately from that of UK immigration and nationality laws. As such, once a child is born, it may not always follow that the child will be automatically permitted to live in the UK. The UK immigration status of a child born via a surrogacy arrangement will depend upon varying factors. We can assist you to navigate the complexities of immigration and nationality law and apply our expertise to ensure you are able to bring your child home to the UK as quickly as possible.

Donor conception, assisted reproduction and co-parenting arrangements

We are able to advise in respect to all aspects of UK law relating to donor conception, assisted reproduction and co-parenting arrangements. Whilst there have been significant developments in IVF and fertility treatment in the past 40 years and a shift in societal attitudes towards modern family-building, UK laws have not kept up with the pace of change. As a result of this, those considering into donor conception, assisted reproduction and co-parenting arrangements whether through a UK licensed clinic or an informal arrangement are often faced with a legal minefield.

Issues which can arise include:

  • the legal status of parties in respect to the child;
  • parental responsibility;
  • associated financial implications; and
  • arrangements for how a child will spend their time between the parties once born.

Early planning and legal advice can minimise the potential for disputes arising in the future.

At Mishcon de Reya LLP, our Family team work closely with our Immigration, Tax and Wealth Planning and Reputation teams in order to ensure that all-encompassing advice is provided in respect to all aspects of modern family-building.

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