5 frequently asked questions about surrogacy in the UK
7 September 2017
- Is Surrogacy legal?
Yes, surrogacy is legal in the UK however it is heavily restricted. It is illegal to advertise that you are a surrogate or looking for a surrogate, or for any arrangement to be for commercial gain. For example, you cannot pay an agency operating for profit to find you a surrogate, a solicitor cannot draft a surrogacy agreement and a surrogate cannot be paid commercially for carrying the baby.
- Can I pay a surrogate here in the UK?
You can only pay a surrogate her reasonable expenses. There is no definition in the law as to what 'reasonable' is; however, it is accepted that costs such as maternity clothing, travel to and from the hospital, extra help around the house are all acceptable.
- How do I find a surrogate?
As it is illegal to advertise that you are a surrogate or looking for a surrogate it can be difficult. Many couples find a family member or friend who is happy to help. If not, or if the couple are uncomfortable with this, then there are not for profit organisations set up who provide support and these are Surrogacy UK and COTS.
- Do we have a contract?
It is a criminal offence for a solicitor to draft a contract however there is nothing to stop the intended parents and the surrogate entering into an agreement between themselves. It is worth bearing in mind though that any agreement between the parties is not binding and is not enforceable in Court.
- Am I the parent?
UK law automatically recognises the surrogate and her husband/civil partner as the legal parent. Therefore at the outset the intended parents do not have legal status. It is therefore necessary to apply to the Court for a parental order once your baby is born. Once the parental order is granted the surrogate's rights will be extinguished and you will be the legal parents with a new birth certificate issued naming you as the parents.
It is important that you seek legal advice at the outset to ensure that you are entitled to a parental order.
We will be happy to provide you with initial advice so please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 7998 0420