Surrogacy – making it ‘legal’

cropped image of doctor using stethoscope white examining pregnant woman in clinic

Surrogacy continues to be a hot topic of debate with even the Radio 4 programme, The Archers developing a storyline about a prospective surrogate baby. Whilst surrogate births to celebrities is now quite commonly reported, the rise of surrogate births in a more usual setting is less common. However, the registration of parental orders (the order obtained once a surrogate baby is born) continue to rise. UK statistics show a year on year increase to over 240 applications being made in the year 2014-2015. Making an application for a parental order can appear a daunting process when the intended parents have already usually gone through a significant period of time, emotional turmoil and hardship to achieve the family they have longed for with the birth of a much wanted child. Despite the intended parents having a genetic link to the baby (either one or both of them) they are not recognised under English law as the legal parents of the baby. The surrogate mother and her husband (if she has one) are registered at birth as the legal parents of the child. For this reason, a court application for a parental order must be issued within 6 months of the baby’s birth to confer legal guardianship on the intended parents. Specialist advice is recommended for this process to ensure that all the legal complexities are dealt with. Please contact EMG solicitors to discuss matters if you are about to embark on a surrogacy or require assistance with a parental order application.

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