Starting a family is a life changing decision. You may have taken the decision to use a surrogate; if so, it is important that you understand the legalities involved in the process, so you can achieve the outcome you desire.

Pre-birth planning

We can help you as intended parents to plan for surrogacy and guide you through the formalities required to later apply for a parental order. Whether you are using a surrogate in the UK or abroad, you need to apply for a parental order after the birth of your child to give you legal parentage.

If you are using a UK fertility clinic, we can advise on the forms you will be asked to complete and write to the clinic to confirm that you have received legal advice. There are also many practical considerations that we can discuss with you and make you aware of potential pitfalls.

Post-birth considerations

There is a period of uncertainty after the birth of your child, but before the granting of the relevant court order. We can advise you how best to deal with that phase, to ensure you can look after your child and make any necessary decisions for them.

You should make an application to the court for a parental order within six months of your child’s birth. There may be instances where, as intended parents, you do not meet the criteria for applying for a parental order. We can explore other legal avenues with you, to find the solution that best suits you and your family. This could include adoption, a child arrangements order or special guardianship order, depending on your circumstances.

We can also assist with the birth registration if your child is born in the UK, or British nationality and passport applications if your child is born abroad.

An important, but often overlooked consideration as intended parents, is having a will prepared for protection during the surrogacy process. Your child may not initially have automatic inheritance rights in the unexpected event of your death. Our expert wealth protection team can advise on your unique family set up and how best to protect you and your family.

Disputes

There may be occasions when things don’t go to plan. We work closely with specialist counsel and have the legal expertise to assist in finding a solution and representing you at court, if that becomes necessary.

Notable cases

Sally Robinson acted for the applicant in the following reported cases:

Re C (A Child: Parental Order & Child Arrangements Order) [2020] EWHC 2141 (Fam)
Re C (A Child: Parental Order & Child Arrangements Order) [2020] EWHC 2474 (Fam)

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