The surrogate mother, regardless of whether she is genetically related to the child, will be recognised as the child’s legal mother at birth. The court can make a parental order which transfers legal parentage from the mother (and her spouse or civil partner if she has one) to the intended parents.
A parental order ensures that the intended parents are legally recognised as the child’s parents and are afforded all the legal rights and responsibilities. It will transfer parentage from the surrogate mother to the intended parents.
Our expert surrogacy solicitors can advise you in relation to the conditions the court requires to make a parental order. It is very important to be aware of these as soon as possible in your surrogacy journey so that you can be sure that you will meet the criteria. It is also important to be aware that the application should be made within six months of the birth of the child.
Our solicitors can also assist you in making the application and represent you throughout the process. .
In certain circumstances, it may not be possible to apply for a parental order, and our solicitors can advise and represent you in respect of other court applications to seek to secure your relationship with your child.
This a particular area that you should seek legal advice on at an early stage if you are considering surrogacy.
Before making a parental order, the court will need to be satisfied that no money or benefit has been exchanged that is more than ‘reasonable expenses’, unless authorised by the court. It is therefore very important to take advice at an early stage so that you can be fully informed about what may and may not be considered reasonable or what may be authorised, to avoid difficulties further down the line.
You should be aware that it is illegal to enter into a commercial surrogacy arrangement.
There are likely to be a number of practical arrangements that will need to be made between the surrogate mother and the parents, including the handover arrangements. It can assist both the surrogate and intended parents to have discussions and plans surrounding a surrogacy pregnancy and our expert solicitors can advise and assist you in relation to these discussions.
The laws on surrogacy will differ between different countries and jurisdictions. When child is born to a surrogate mother abroad, regardless of the law in the country of birth, the intended parents will not be legally recognised in this jurisdiction as the child’s parents until a parental order is made by the court in England and Wales. The law in other countries in terms of commercial arrangements and payments can also differ from the law here, and it is important to be clear about this and about the law that would be applied in the courts of this country. It is therefore especially important to seek legal advice at an early stage if you are considering international surrogacy.