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National Surrogacy Week 1-7 August 2022

National Surrogacy Week 1-7 August 2022

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The theme for 2022 will be Children of Surrogacy 

This year National Surrogacy Week will be focusing on the children born through UK surrogacy and their stories plus the children of surrogates will also have the chance for their voices to be heard.

Surrogate Children Celebrating their Voice

How they feel, their awareness and their family bond being a surrogate child.

For many people facing fertility issues, surrogacy in the UK is a potential route to having the family you long for, whether you are a couple or single. However, a lack of awareness and even confusion surrounds surrogate birth and where to start if you want a surrogate child. This is despite the fact that surrogate births are growing in number and are set to increase in the future.

Surrogacy

Surrogacy is when a woman carries a pregnancy for another couple or individual. In most cases it is because someone cannot carry a pregnancy themselves for health reasons or because they are men in a same-sex relationship.

Surrogacy is legal in the UK,  however, the law prohibits third parties arranging surrogacy for profit and outlaws advertising for surrogates, so finding a surrogate can be challenging.  Once you have found a surrogate, any agreement you enter into is unenforceable under UK law.

The law regulating surrogacy in the UK states a surrogate is deemed the legal mother when the baby is born – irrespective of genetics or any agreements that have been made. Many organisations  and professionals feels that  the Law in the UK is outdated.

Section 54 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFE Act 2008) sets out eligibility criteria for Parental Orders. The process of applying for a Parental Order must be made to transfer legal parentage to the intended or biological parents.

In the UK applications for Parental Orders  for single parents have only been available since 2019, when new law came into force. Section 54A into the HFE Act 2008, allowing single individuals to apply for parental orders.

Reform of the surrogacy law in the UK is long overdue and although some are able to navigate the law as it stands and achieve their intended outcome, there are some that are left with complicated situations and uncertainty.

Surrogacy can be a joyful event for everyone involved, but the relationships flowing from surrogacy can be complicated. It is crucial that all parties have the same aims and receive support to mitigate any potential stressors arising out of the shift to parenthood.

The Law Commission is expected to publish its recommendations for reform of the law on surrogacy in September  2022.

Earlier this month we addressed the issues regarding Surrogacy. Our blog on surrogacy can be found here.

How can a solicitor help with your surrogacy?

When using a surrogate, a lawyer can be really beneficial. A lawyer will be able to help you acquire full parental rights for your child and can also help you with court hearings, preparing statements to support your application, court hearings and gathering relevant documentation on the surrogate mother. Your lawyer will also be able to assist in drafting an agreement with your surrogate mother, should you choose to have one.

If you have an international surrogacy agreement, a lawyer will be able to help bring your child to the UK as quickly as possible and can help with immigration, nationality and passport applications. A lawyer will also be able to help you if you run into any issues with your surrogate.

Speak to our Family Law experts

Should you need further advice, please speak to our Family Law experts on 03456 381 381 or alternatively e-mail reena.vadera@ibblaw.co.uk.