If you have a child following a surrogacy arrangement, you need to secure a Parental Order for both of you to become the legal parents of the child. Without a Parental Order, the lady who gave birth (the surrogate) and her husband/wife (if she is married) are the legal parents. The surrogate cannot sign a document to make you the legal parents. There must be a Parental Order made by the court. Once the Parental Order is made, an Order will be issued and a new birth certificate will be provided by the General Registrar naming you both as the legal parents.
If you do not go through this process, you have no legal rights to parent the child. This has long term consequences including the child's right to inherit from you, benefit from your life insurance / medical insurances and your right to consent to medical treatment in an emergency.
The process to obtaining a Parental Order varies depending on whether your surrogacy was in the UK or abroad and whether the surrogate is married or single. If you consult us early on in the process we can make sure that your surrogacy arrangement is in line with UK legislation and therefore getting a Parental Order will not be a great task. If you consult us after the birth, we will work with you and the clinic / surrogacy agency to obtain all of the relevant documentation and consents for the court.
Our advice is that you get advice about the Parental Order before you start the process because you should not risk conceiving a child without having some confidence that you can bring the child to the UK and become legal parents.