About SurrogacySurrogacy is an agreement in which a woman will carry and deliver a child for another person or couple. The woman who has the child is termed the Surrogate while the intended parent or parents are termed the ‘Commissioning’ or ‘Social’ parents. Surrogacy is becoming gradually more popular with people who want to experience parenthood as it has become increasingly easier and cheaper to do. There are generally two types of Surrogacy Agreement:
- Where the Commissioning father’s sperm and the Surrogate mother’s eggs are used;
- Where the child is not genetically related to the Surrogate mother.
Legal IssuesSurrogacy Agreements are not enforceable in England and Wales, and this can be a shock to Commissioning Parents who have planned and paid for the process. This means English law does not automatically recognise the commissioning parent or parents as the child’s legal parents due to them not having legal parental responsibility. The child’s legal parents will depend on factors such as whether the Surrogate is married or the type of Surrogacy Agreement that has taken place. To become legal parents the Commissioning parent or parents need to get a Parental Order from the court. An application for this must be made within six months of the child’s birth and the court will decide whether to grant the order based on multiple factors. These include:
- Whether the Surrogate (and, if applicable, her husband) consent to the Order.
- Who the child is genetically related to.
- How much money the Commissioning parent or parents have paid to the Surrogate.
What can DPP Law do?There are multiple factors that must be considered in a Surrogacy Agreement which include the immigration status of the child, the Commissioning parents’ legal status, the Surrogate’s marital status, arrangements regarding the child’s welfare before the Parental Order is made and the amount of money to be paid to the Surrogate. DPP Law’s specialist child law solicitors can offer you jargon free and easy to understand advice that will guide you through the status of Surrogacy within the law of England and Wales. Our lawyers can give you expert advice on how best to make the Surrogacy Agreement and how to navigate the situation if relations between the Surrogate and the intended parents break down. This is a tricky part of family law that needs to be dealt with sensitively to garner the best results for the child. Discuss your case with an expert by calling our friendly team now or making an online enquiry.