Co-parenting with a known donor or a surrogate mother is an ideal way to create a family unit.  If you are a lesbian couple, you may have a known donor who wishes to remain in the child's life as the legal father.  If you are a gay couple, you may find a lady willing to be a surrogate mother and remain in the child's life as a mother figure.

We advise that you get legal advice to prepare a co-parenting agreement before you start the process and certainly before artificial insemination.   Whether you become legal parents to the child is determined based on your marital status before the insemination and how the insemination took place.  It is important to note that legal parenthood is not determined at birth.  By the time the child is born you will not be able to change legal parent status easily.    Further, if you are the legal father at birth, you will not be able to remove this legal obligation and will find yourself with legal and financial obligations towards the child during the child's minority.  This can be devastating to the donor and to the second intended legal parent if it is not what was intended.

If you are a gay couple, you need to know that the surrogate mother is the legal mother of the child until you secure a Parental Order giving legal parent status to your partner (the non biological father / second intended parent).

The law is complex for same sex parenting.  Get legal advice as soon as you start thinking about creating a family.  When you have found somebody that you want to co-parent with, get a co-parenting agreement to set out your intentions towards the child.  It is a very useful document confirming your intentions and obligations.  We advise on donor conception in addition to advising on national and international surrogacy.

Contact our fertility and parenting law experts for advice on Co-Parenting on 01727 884688 or e-mail