Problems with UK surrogacy law

Problems with UK surrogacy law

1 The surrogate is the legal mother and if she is married, her husband is the legal father.  This means that a gay or straight couple who are biologically connected to the child have no legal rights to it until a Parental Order is granted.  We feel that there should be equal footing from the start of the process with pre-birth Orders.

2 Single people can adopt.  However, if a single person uses a married surrogate, he / she can never be the legal parent by way of Parental Order even though he / she is biologically connected to the child.

3 There is a 6 month deadline from the child's birth to apply for a Parental Order.  This causes a problem because a) many people don't know that they need a Parental Order and miss the deadline b) those forced to seek surrogacy abroad may not get back in time to apply.  The result being that parents can never be the legal parents unless they then adopt the child which is a lengthy and expensive exercise.

4 It is very difficult to find a surrogate in the UK therefore people are forced to look abroad which is a) very expensive b) very risky due to the different laws c) puts them at risk due to the current passport delays

5 UK surrogates can only be paid 'reasonable expenses' which a) deters ladies from becoming surrogates b) creates uncertainty when trying to define reasonable expenses

Surrogacy agreements are unenforceable which a) makes the surrogate vulnerable and b) makes the intended parents vulnerable

7 The passport office are taking at times more than 16weeks to process first child passports which results in a) the child spending the first 4-6 months of his / her life in a hotel room b) the parents having to spend a fortune on hotel expenses etc. c) the parents risking losing their income in the UK.  The passport office need to set up a specialist team to expedite these applications.


If you want to discuss the current problems with UK surrogacy law, please contact me on 07980 917882 / 01727 884688

About the Author

Family law solicitor.