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Surrogacy is where a person carries a baby for another person or couple who it is intended will be the child’s parents. Many UK intended parents move forwards with an arrangement here in the UK or choose to enter an arrangement abroad.

Wherever the surrogacy arrangement takes place, and irrespective of whatever the law in the jurisdiction where the arrangement may have taken place says, it is important to understand that UK law automatically recognises the birth mother (the surrogate) as the legal parent (even if she is not biologically connected to the child) and if she is married or in a civil partnership then their spouse/civil partner will be considered the other legal parent (unless it can be shown that they did not consent to the conception).

This means that the wrong people are recognised as the parents at birth, with one or both of the intended parents not having legal status for their child.  This has far reaching consequences for both the intended parents, the surrogate and her family and also the child.

The solution is to apply to the court for a Parental Order, which once granted will mean the surrogate’s (and her spouse /partner’s) legal status will be extinguished and the intended parents will acquire legal parenthood, with a new birth certificate being issued naming the intended parents as the parents.

If the surrogacy arrangement has taken place in the UK then the Parental Order application will typically be heard in the lower family courts whereas if the surrogacy arrangement took place abroad then the Parental Order application will typically be heard in the High Court.

We have successfully acted for many intended parents and surrogates over the years. Whatever stage you are at on your surrogacy journey we are able to provide advice and representation together with guidance and support.