Whether you have found a surrogate in the UK or you are intending on going through a surrogacy arrangement abroad, you need legal advice before you start the process.
Commercial surrogacy is not legal in the UK but it may be legal in other countries such as the US and India. If you decide to proceed with international surrogacy, you need to know that the law in this country will apply regardless of where the surrogacy takes place. Therefore, if commercial surrogacy in India is legal and you get a birth certificate naming you as the child's parents, it will not be recognised in this country. The legislation sets out who the legal parents to the child are regardless of where the child was born. The surrogate will always be the legal mother and the legal father is determined based on the surrogate's marital status and consent to treatment.
We can assist you from the start of your surrogacy journey by advising you on who the legal parents are at the outset. In order to extinguish 'legal mother' status from the surrogate and possibly 'legal father' status from her husband, you will need a Parental Order from an English court. We can assist you get this order and gather all necessary documents from abroad if necessary.
There are two types of surrogacy. Straight/traditional surrogacy is where the surrogate is artificially inseminated with sperm and her eggs are used. Host / Gestational surrogacy is where the surrogate is implanted with an embryo.
If you want to become legal parents following surrogacy one of you must be biologically connected to the child and you must apply to court within the first 6 months of the child's life. This is a strict deadline that cannot be extended. If you miss the deadline, you will need to consider alternative ways of becoming legal parents such as adoption. Adoption is costly and takes time.