Surrogacy laws in UK
As you put your first steps forward in regards to surrogacy in UK, it is highly crucial to take a detailed understanding of surrogacy laws in UK. Being an intended parent, you must now that it is absolutely legal to enter into a surrogacy agreement in the country. There are, however, a number of guidelines and restrictions which an intending parent or surrogate mother in UK must adhere to.
Surrogacy laws in UK: key Points to consider
Surrogacy contracts are not legally enforceable
Surrogacy contracts are unenforceable in the United Kingdom, which means that everyone is relying on one another to keep the arrangement, both in terms of the child’s handover and other aspects. A third party (even a solicitor) negotiating a surrogacy contract for payment is likewise illegal.
Many intended parents are concerned about what would happen if their surrogate decided to retain the baby, and many surrogates are concerned about what would happen if the intended parents did not take responsibility for the child after birth. In reality, these issues are uncommon during surrogacy in UK
However, it is critical to streamline things during the start in order to keep the surrogacy journey hassle-free. This is where putting things in writing, even if it isn’t legally enforceable, helps to establish clarity and excellent communication.
Finally, if there is a disagreement regarding who should care for the kid after the birth, a child arrangements order can be requested from the family court. Only a few examples of this type have been documented in the UK: in some, care was handed to the intended parents; in others, the surrogate mother in UK was permitted to retain the kid. Each case is handled individually, with the court weighing in on what is best for the kid.
Following the birth of a child, the intended parents must file for a parental order, which permanently reassigns parentage to them and results in the re-issuance of their kid’s birth certificate. Before starting with a UK surrogacy arrangement, make sure you fit the criteria for obtaining a parental order (and, if you don’t, make sure you have a backup legal plan in place to guarantee that the child’s legal parents are the correct individuals). Learn more about parental orders and legal parenting.
It is a prevalent misperception that paying a surrogate mother in UK more than her incurred expenses is prohibited. In reality, the United Kingdom’s legal system does not recognize such a crime. Payments are just a factor for the family court, which must authorize payments in excess of reasonable expenditures before making a parental order.
Because there is no definition of appropriate costs (or a set amount that is permitted), the court must determine what is acceptable in each case, and in reality, this is generally done in a lenient manner. In international surrogacy proceedings, the High Court has been known to authorize payments in excess of expenditures in the past. The court needs to know that things were handled correctly and that no one was exploited or tried to get around child protection laws. However, the court has never refused to establish a parental order because the amount paid was excessive.
Surrogacy clinics in UK
Receiving remuneration for arranging surrogacy is illegal, albeit there is an exception for non-profit organizations. Commercial organizations that match or broker surrogacy agreements in the UK, even if they are headquartered outside the UK, are guilty of a criminal offense punishable by jail. Despite the fact that no charges have been filed, the High Court referred the British Surrogacy Centre to the authorities for inquiry in 2013 (J v G (2013)).
Putting advertisements in relation to the search for the surrogate, you will function as a surrogate or your will as a third party to assist in the surrogacy arrangement is illegal (although this last offense does not apply to non-profit-making organizations)
If an advertisement is posted by someone in the UK and may be read in the UK, the law applies to it both online and in print. They also apply to ad publishers in the United Kingdom.
Treatment at fertility clinics in the United Kingdom
The Code of Practice for UK fertility clinics dealing with surrogacy is set down by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
Ascertaining the legal parenthood
When treatment is completed at a registered surrogacy clinic in UK, special regulations on legal parenthood apply. HFEA further updated their guidelines in 2013, which makes it clear that:
(i) The legal mother is the surrogate.
She and her husband (or wife/civil partner) are the legal parents if she is married. The surrogate mother in UK can fill out Form LC to explain the circumstances if it can be demonstrated that the surrogate’s spouse/civil partner does not consent.
Form LC cannot be used to prevent a spouse from becoming a legal parent on a regular basis, but it can be used to prevent parenting if the spouse truly does not consent (e.g. if the surrogate and her spouse are separated).
There is an option as to who will be the second parent if the surrogate is not married (or if her spouse does not consent to the conception). If no HFEA parenting paperwork is signed, the biological father becomes the legal father.
Alternatively, using HFEA Forms SWP and SPP, someone else (typically the intended mother or non-biological father) can be named as the other parent. The paperwork must be completed after counseling and before to conception, and the surrogate’s sibling, parent, kid, or aunt/uncle cannot be named as the other parent.
The HFEA protects surrogates in the same way as they would if they were receiving donated eggs and sperm. This implies that the intended parents’ embryos (or the intended father’s sperm) must be confined for the required amount of time to ensure that they are clear of infectious illnesses. Although many clinics provide shorter quarantine periods, the quarantine period might last up to six months.
Parties involved in a surrogacy agreement
Fertility clinics must obtain written agreement from intended parents, the surrogate, and her spouse or partner before beginning treatment. Surrogacy requires certain HFEA forms. Everyone engaged in a surrogacy agreement should get counseling, including implications counseling on the long-term difficulties linked with having a child through surrogacy.
How we can help?
At Surrogacy consultancy, we got the best team of legal professionals to help you through every legal complication related to surrogacy in UK. With us, you can stay assured of receiving the best support and care in the same regard.
Connect with one of our client coordinators today for a free consultation!