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Surrogacy laws in brief:

In the UK, the woman who gives birth to a child is the legal mother, and if she is married, her spouse is recognised as the child’s second legal parent. 

This law directly impacts surrogacy because the intended parent(s) (who may also be the biological parents) are not recognised as their child’s legal parents from birth.

To become the legal parent(s), you must apply to the court for a parental order. 

The order will remove the surrogate and her spouse’s status and reassign legal parenthood and parental responsibility to the intended parents. This process can take up to a year. 

There are certain criteria you must meet to apply for the order. Our surrogacy experts can help you make the application or explain the other orders available to you. 

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    Submit your details, and we’ll arrange a free, no-obligation callback at a time to suit you. Please note that we cannot offer Legal aid.

    About surrogacy in the UK

    • Who needs a surrogacy lawyer?

      Using surrogacy to build a family is becoming more common.

      Those engaging in surrogacy here in the UK are free to make arrangements between themselves, but sadly this approach can sometimes go wrong. Without clear guidelines or a legal document or clinic intervention, the whole surrogacy process can become very complicated. There are specific rules and processes that everybody involved in surrogacy arrangements must be aware of and stringently adhere to.

      Before entering into surrogacy, it is advisable to do as much research as possible to help you fully understand what to expect and the complexities that can be involved. Part of this research should be to speak with a legal professional, or surrogacy lawyer.

      Getting legal advise during the early stages of the prevent not only costly (financially) mistakes, but also mistakes that can cause a lot of emotional distress.

      Remember, no matter whether the intended parent(s) are a heterosexual couple, same sex couple or a single individual, unforeseen issues can arise during the surrogacy process.

      Our lawyers can provide legal advice surrounding surrogacy in the UK, as well as international surrogacy.

    • Are surrogacy contract enforceable in the UK?

      Although intended parents and surrogate can record how they want the arrangement to work in a surrogacy agreement, surrogacy agreements are not enforceable by UK law. Even if you have a signed document with your surrogate and have paid their expenses.

    • After surrogacy, who are the child's legal parents?

      If you use a surrogate, they will be the child’s legal parent at birth.

      If the surrogate is married or in a civil partnership, their spouse or civil partner will be the child’s second parent at birth – this is not the case if they did not give their permission.

      Legal parenthood can be transferred by parental order or adoption after the child is born.

    • Where to find a local surrogacy solicitor?

      At Stowe Family Law, we have over 45 offices throughout the UK. Our family law solicitors can work with you throughout the surrogacy journey to ensure that all parties involved get the desired outcome.


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