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Surrogacy Legal Advice for Same-Sex Couples

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Our London surrogacy law specialists receive lots of inquiries about parenthood through surrogacy. We are here to answer your questions on both UK and international surrogacy.

In this article, our Family Law Solicitors focus on the things you need to consider if you are exploring surrogacy as part of a same-sex couple.

Online and London Family Law Solicitors and Surrogacy Lawyers

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

Our lawyers speak Arabic, Armenian, Farsi, French/Mauritian Creole, Spanish, Tamil Tagalog/Ilonggo, Urdu/Punjabi

Surrogacy parenthood for same-sex couples

For same-sex couples, surrogacy is a way of having a family where the child is genetically connected to one of you. That’s particularly important if you are a male same-sex couple where IVF isn’t an option.

Some gay parents just want a family and are not worried about whether there is a biological link between them and their children. However, the lack of availability of young children for adoption in the UK is one of the drivers for couples deciding to look at the option of UK surrogacy, international surrogacy or international adoption.

There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing UK adoption, IVF (if it is an option for you), UK surrogacy, international surrogacy or international adoption. Our Surrogacy Law Solicitors can give you preliminary advice so you can make an informed choice on the parenting route that works for you as an LGBTQI+ couple and so you know what to expect in terms of the legal processes and timescales before you commit to surrogacy as your route to parenthood.

Surrogacy in the UK

Surrogacy in the UK is legal and ‘gay friendly’ as the law allows a same-sex couple to apply for a joint parental order if they are married, in a civil partnership or an enduring relationship.

There are some things you need to be aware of with UK surrogacy. These are:

  1. It can be hard to find a surrogate in the UK – that is partially because UK law says you can only pay your surrogate reasonable expenses. You are not allowed to pay them a commercial sum for acting as your surrogate
  2. A surrogacy agreement is not enforceable as a contract in UK law. In some overseas countries, surrogacy agreements are enforceable
  3. A surrogacy lawyer cannot advise you on a UK surrogacy agreement because the law in the UK says it is illegal for someone to negotiate an agreement on a commercial basis
  4. In UK law the surrogate mother is the legal parent of the child. You become the parent/s by obtaining a parental order. This order extinguishes the surrogate’s legal rights

If you are lucky enough to be able to find a UK surrogate then using a UK surrogate can have significant advantages to an international surrogacy where you will need international family law advice and UK immigration advice on bringing your child back to the UK.

International surrogacy for same-sex couples

International surrogacy can be a great option for same-sex couples but our Family Law Solicitors recommend that you do your homework first so you:

  1. Choose your country with care – not all overseas countries allow same-sex surrogacy and some are more friendly than others. For example, California in the US, Canada and Mexico are noted as being LGBTQI+ friendly
  2. Understand the immigration law aspects of international surrogacy so you have an idea of what is involved in securing entry clearance for your child as well as a British passport and British citizenship. Our surrogacy law specialists work closely with our Immigration Solicitors so you get seamless legal advice

If you decide that international surrogacy is your best option (for example, because in your chosen country surrogacy agreements are enforceable or you can find a surrogate more easily because payments are allowed) you need to be aware that you will still need to apply for a parental order once you and the baby are back in the UK. That’s because, under UK law, the surrogate is the child’s legal parent even if the surrogacy took place overseas and even if there is no biological link between the surrogate and the baby.

Applying for your parental order

Whether you go ahead with a UK surrogacy or an international one you need to apply for your parental order within 6 months of the child’s birth.

If your surrogate is married, then her husband or spouse will be the father or the second legal parent of the baby. Once you have your parental order you have parental responsibility for your child and you are the legal parents. The legal rights of the surrogate mother (and her spouse) are ended with the making of the order.

The parental order application is still necessary even if:

  • The surrogate mother is happy to hand over the baby and you have a great relationship with her – under the law, she has parental responsibility and this is only ended by the making of the order
  • You are named as a legal parent in the overseas country where your child was born
  • Your baby has a passport from the country they were born in

Our surrogacy solicitors in London can advise you on your parental order application and support you throughout the process.

Is surrogacy the right path for you?

Many same-sex couples opt to explore surrogacy when looking to start a family or grow their family. Our Family Law Solicitors and Immigration Solicitors can help you make an informed choice of whether either UK surrogacy or international surrogacy is the best option for you.

Whatever you decide to do, we can support you through any family law or immigration aspects of your path to parenthood.

Online and London Family Law Solicitors and Surrogacy Lawyers

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

Our lawyers speak Arabic, Armenian, Farsi, French/Mauritian Creole, Spanish, Tamil Tagalog/Ilonggo, Urdu/Punjabi


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