Are there any legal issues to consider?
Yes. Surrogacy involves a lot of complicated legal issues which is why you should seek independent legal advice, especially if you’re having treatment overseas.
The most important thing to know is that, in the UK, the surrogate is the legal mother of the child unless you get a parental order from the court; even if the eggs and sperm used are yours or donated (ie, she’s not genetically related to the child). Once you have a parental order for the baby, the surrogate will have no further rights or obligations to the child.
Who the second legal parent is at birth will depend on your circumstances. If the surrogate is married or in a civil partnership, her partner will automatically be the second legal parent (until a parental order is granted), unless it can be shown that her partner did not consent to her treatment. If the surrogate is single, then the man providing the sperm (if he wants to be the father) will automatically be the second legal parent at birth. However, it is possible for the surrogate to nominate a second legal parent such as the intended mother or non-biological father if you’d all prefer. To do this, both the intended second parent and the surrogate will need to give their consent before the sperm, egg or embryo are transferred:
The law previously only allowed two people to apply for a parental order, however, it has recently been changed and it is now possible for one person to apply for a parental order if you are a biological parent of the child (ie, your eggs or sperm were used to create the baby).
This is a complicated area so you should talk to your clinic early on about nominating a second legal parent so they can support you through the process.
Find out more about the legal rights of parents and surrogates
Read the law on UK surrogacy arrangements