International Surrogacy banner


International Surrogacy

  • Posted on

If you are looking to extend your family then international surrogacy is one route to do so.

Our specialist family lawyers and immigration solicitors work closely together to help you with the family law and the immigration law aspects of international surrogacy.

Online and London Family Law Solicitors and Surrogacy Lawyers

For surrogacy law legal advice call the expert London family lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.

International surrogacy or international adoption

It is best to look at the options of international adoption or surrogacy before deciding on how you want to expand your family. If you have settled in the UK from overseas you may be particularly keen to adopt from your home country or to use a surrogate from there. However, international adoption and surrogacy are not legal in every country so it is first best to check the laws in the relevant overseas country before you commit to a plan.

The difference between adoption and surrogacy

The key difference between international adoption and surrogacy is that in a surrogacy arrangement, there is always a genetic link between at least one parent-to-be and the surrogate mother. In adoption, there may be no genetic link although, in some cases, the applicants are asking to adopt the child of an extended family member, such as their niece or nephew.

The definition of surrogacy

Surrogacy is a concept that is hard to define because there are many variants. In essence, a surrogate carries a child on behalf of someone else. The surrogate may or may not have a biological link to the child she carries but there has to be a genetic link to one of the parents-to-be. However, the concept of surrogacy can involve the supply of both egg and sperm by the parents-to-be, or the egg or sperm can come from a donor.

International surrogacy law

Unfortunately, there is no one international surrogacy law. That is why it is best to check surrogacy laws in your chosen country before committing time and money to something that may be illegal or difficult to achieve in your country of first choice. In some countries, surrogacy is not only legal but agreements are enforceable and payments legally allowed, and this difference in laws can affect your choice of country.

International immigration law for children born to surrogate mothers

There is no international immigration law for children born through overseas surrogacy arrangements.  Many British citizens or those who have settled in the UK chose international surrogacy because surrogacy agreements are enforceable in some overseas countries. In the UK surrogacy is legal but you cannot sue if a surrogate changes her mind so you cannot enforce the agreement. In addition, in the UK you can only pay the surrogate reasonable expenses rather than pay the surrogate for what they are doing for you. For these reasons, and because it is difficult to find a UK surrogate, many couples chose international surrogacy.

Immigration solicitors warn that although surrogacy laws in some overseas countries may be more flexible than in the UK, the UK parents-to-be also need to understand the procedure for the child to leave their country of birth and the immigration rules surrounding UK entry clearance for a surrogate child and whether their child will be a British citizen or not, and if not, how the child will acquire British citizenship.

Getting your baby home to the UK

Couples who decide that an international surrogacy arrangement is the best route for them often say that getting their baby home after their birth is often the most frustrating step in the surrogacy process. That isn’t surprising as with a new arrival you want to be able to start your life as parents without delay or red tape.

Depending on the country where the surrogacy arrangement takes place it could take weeks or months to get UK entry clearance. A lot depends on the nationality and marriage status of the surrogate as well as other factors. That’s why immigration lawyers stress that you need international surrogacy immigration law advice as well as surrogacy solicitors on your side so you know, before you even commit to surrogacy, what the entry clearance process will involve and so you can plan accordingly.

Knowing the time needed to get your baby back to the UK won't avoid the frustration of waiting but it may affect your choice of country or surrogate and enable you to plan and manage your expectations.

Parental orders and international surrogacy

If you have a child through a surrogacy arrangement, you will need a parental order in the UK. A parental order extinguishes the legal rights of the surrogate mother (and her husband if the surrogate is married) and gives the parents-to-be parental responsibility for the child. Once the parental order has been made you will get a new birth certificate for the child.

Online and London Family Law Solicitors and International Surrogacy Lawyers

For surrogacy and family law legal advice call the expert London family lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.

Related Posts

Sole responsibility vs the welfare of the child – when immigration and family law collides

Adopting children: immigration and nationality issues in intercountry adoption

OTS Solicitors Celebrate the 2023 Legal 500 London Immigration Rankings

Teni Shahiean, CEO of OTS Solicitors Features in Top 25 UGlobal Immigration Magazine Award Winners for 2021 in the Immigration Attorney Category

    Get in touch

    Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.