Is Surrogacy Legal In The UK

Is Surrogacy Legal In The UK

What is Surrogacy?

Surrogacy refers to the process, in which an embryo formed from the egg and sperm of the intended parents (or by using a donor egg and sperm) is put inside the uterus of another woman known as the surrogate.

A legal agreement is made between the intended parents, the surrogate mother, and the clinic. The surrogate mother agrees to carry the baby for 9 months and then hand it over to the intended parents.

International Surrogacy is becoming common for couples in the UK these days

But what is the legal course of action they would have to follow?

Let’s find out   

Surrogacy in the UK

UK citizens opt for International Surrogacy if they are unable to find a surrogate mother in this country. However, the intended parents need to be certain about a couple of things before starting their surrogacy journey. In the case of International Surrogacy, intended parents have to fully understand the Surrogacy laws of both countries and the legal procedure to bring their child back to the UK.

Surrogacy Agreement 

Surrogacy Agreement is an agreement between all the respective parties involved in the Surrogacy process i.e. the intended parents, the surrogate, and the doctor. This document states the rights and obligations the parties have towards each other. It basically states that after the birth of the child, the surrogate mother will have no legal custody of the child and will hand it over to its intended parents. The document also includes the terms of the entire surrogacy process and costs. The Surrogacy Agreement should be drafted with utmost sincerity as it reduces the chances of disagreement in the future.

If you want to opt for surrogacy in the UK, this surrogacy agreement is not legally binding upon any of the parties. However, if a dispute arises, this agreement can be used to show the initial intention and understanding between all the parties.

Parental Orders

In some countries, the surrogate mother’s name might not appear on the birth certificate but that’s not the case under UK law. According to which, the surrogate mother will be the legal parent of the child until a Parental Order has been finalized.

To become the legal parents of the baby, the intended parents need to file a Parental Order application to the court. This Parental Order will extinguish the surrogate mother’s rights over the child and transfer them to you, thus making you the legal parents. However, this application cannot be filed before the child is born.

When can the Intended Parents file for a Parental Order?

There are some conditions, which need to be fulfilled before filing for a Parental Order. They are-

  • At least one of the intended parents should be more than 18 years of age.
  • The child must be biologically related to at least one of the intended parents (by donating the egg or the sperm for conception)
  • If the intended parent is single, he must be biologically related to the child.
  • The child must be conceived through ART i.e Assisted Reproductive Technology. The child is to be born via artificial Insemination rather than sexual intercourse.
  • The application must be filed in court within 6 months of the birth of the child.
  • Single intended parent or in the case of a couple, at least one intended parent should be a permanent resident of the UK.
  • The surrogate (and her partner, if married) must give their consent with a full understanding. This consent cannot be given until the child is six weeks old.
  • At the time of application, the child must be living with the intended parents.

Adoption

If neither of the parents is biologically related to the child then adoption is their only option. In adoption, the rights of the non-biological parents to the child are permanently established. It is advised to get a second-parent adoption. Because Parental Orders are not recognized everywhere, whereas adoption is accepted worldwide.

British Citizenship

To ensure that the child gets British Nationality, the surrogate mother should be unmarried and one of the intended parents must be a permanent resident of the UK and must be biologically related to the child so that they can pass on their British Nationality to the child. In such cases, the intended parents only have to apply for a passport.

What if the surrogate is married?

If the surrogate is married, the child will not be automatically British. In such a case, the intended parents need to put up an application at the discretion of the Home Secretary, to register the child as a British citizen, this can be a lengthy process and lead to further delay in taking the child back to the UK.

If the parents are living in the UK but are not British, or neither of them is biologically related to the child, they can apply for a non-British passport for the child, then apply for a visa for it to come to the UK, and apply for a Parental Order there. It is very important to keep in mind that if the child is not granted a passport from its birth country, then the application for a visa to travel back to the UK is not possible.

Need for a Surrogacy Lawyer 

A surrogacy lawyer is one who will guide you throughout the surrogacy process. Their duty is to safeguard the parental rights of the intended parents when they choose Surrogacy as the Assisted Reproductive Technology to welcome a child into their family. The Lawyer ensures that the Surrogacy process is carried out smoothly without any legal troubles. Having a Surrogacy Lawyer gives a sense of security and peace of mind, as they are well informed in all the laws in regards to ART- Surrogacy. They predict unforeseen risks and liabilities and also hold the parties accountable to legal standards.

For LGBT Couples

UK law supports LGBT parents having a baby through surrogacy just like it does for different-sex couples. Out of all the countries where surrogacy is allowed, the most preferred is USA and Canada, as here in the case of Gay or Lesbian couples, both the partners can be named on the birth certificate of the child. But even after this, UK law does not recognize you as the parents, to correct this, you need to follow a legal procedure and get the Parental Order. To make the process possible, the child must be biologically related to at least one of the parents.

Vinsfertility has been helping gay and trans individuals, and couples in becoming parents for the past decade. Our strategic programs and partnerships have helped in making gay surrogacy possible. We have a special team of lawyers who handle legal procedures for LGBT couples or single parents. It is our duty to ensure that you face no problem in obtaining the Parental Order and taking the baby back home.

Lawyers at Vinsfertility are pioneers in the legal field relating to Surrogacy. We have represented and assisted many citizens who are living in the UK and want to get Surrogacy done in other countries. We make sure that British couples are granted permission for surrogacy without any hassle. Our lawyers make legal documents in accordance with the guidelines stated under the country’s law and also see to it that these legal documents are made with the consent of all the parties involved.

Legal Assistance provided by Vinsfertility for Surrogacy for UK citizens

For a very long time, International Surrogacy has been the choice for couples living in the UK. Apart from providing surrogacy and other fertility services, Vinsfertility also provides Surrogacy Lawyers for UK citizens in various countries.

If you plan for International Surrogacy in any country where surrogacy is legal then taking your child back home is the biggest and most worrisome task. Vinsfertility handles the entire legal procedure for you- from beginning to end, including all the notary processes involved. It is our duty to ensure that your child will go back to the UK along with you.

Common questions about surrogacy in the UK.

If you are considering opting for surrogacy, trying to understand surrogacy, or are on a journey to parenthood via surrogacy, it is obvious to have some questions. Vinsfertility has vast experience in helping thousands of intended parents complete their journey to parenthood. We have managed many surrogates and intended parents and are here to answer all your questions.

What is the difference between traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy?

In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate who carries the baby for intended parents does not share any DNA with the child, i.e. are eggs are not used to make the embryo, transferred to her uterus. Hence, gestational surrogacy is the one most practiced today. Opposite to it, in traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s own egg is used for making the embryo, thus connecting her genetically with the baby she is caring for the intended parents. Vinsfertility does not arrange traditional surrogacy.

Do I need to work with a surrogacy agency?

It is not necessary for intended parents and surrogates to work with an agency to complete their surrogacy, doing it on their own is known as an independent agency. We understand that surrogacy can be a bit complex, hence we recommend both the parties i.e. intended parents and the surrogate to work with an agency. It ensures that both parties will receive the support and care they need while they are on this journey. The agency will manage the details so that the intended parents can focus on other details, like welcoming their baby.

Why should I choose Vinsfertility?

They are a plethora of reasons, why intended parents should choose Vinsfertility! With the experience of nearly a decade, we have helped in bringing thousands of babies into this world. Given below are the top reasons why you should choose Vinsfertility:

  1. 99.9% success rate
  2. We are a ‘one-stop’ agency, i.e. we handle everything from egg donation to taking your baby home.
  3. We have the most comprehensive screening process for surrogates.

How does a surrogate woman (gestational carrier) get pregnant?

A surrogate or gestational carrier gets pregnant when an embryo is transferred inside her uterus by an IVF doctor. To make this possible, she is given medication prior to prepare her body for pregnancy.

Can I speak with the surrogate or intended parents from your program?

Yes! It will be our delight to connect you with surrogates and intended parents.

As per the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, the commercialization of surrogacy has been declared illegal, and also, Gender Selection is banned in India.
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