International surrogacy law
As surrogacy laws vary from country to country, it is essential to ensure you are fully aware of all the necessary legalities concerning the process abroad.
Our Surrogacy Law team has extensive knowledge and experience concerning the intricacies of international surrogacy law and is familiar with the various types of surrogacy contracts and agreements entered in different countries. From the various US states, to Eastern Europe and India, our expert advice will help you navigate the complexities of travelling to different parts of the world to locate a suitable surrogate parent.
What you should be aware of
If, as a UK couple, you are considering conceiving with a foreign surrogate, you will need to take care over conflicts of law on parenthood and the rule against paying more than reasonable expenses. Some countries allow the intended parents to acquire parenthood status automatically, either through a foreign court process (such as a Californian pre-birth order) or simply by allowing them to be named on the birth certificate (as in India). However, if you, as the intended parents, are domiciled here, English law will apply to you – which means that you may not be regarded as the child’s legal parents (including for the purposes of entry clearance and citizenship, which can prevent you bringing your child home).
If, as a non-UK couple, you are considering conceiving with a UK surrogate, you will need to take care over the requirement that at least one of you is domiciled in the UK. If neither of you, as intended parents, is domiciled in the UK, the court will not have the power to grant you a parental order. This means that it will be difficult for you to secure your status as the child’s parents and to take your child out of the UK.
Seeking immigration clearance from the UK Border Agency to bring your surrogate child into the UK following the birth can be complicated. Many people are unaware that foreign country’s laws are not binding in England. You cannot assume that because you are the legal parents of your child abroad, that you are therefore the legal parents of your child in England. Unfortunately this is not the case and only an English Court Order can resolve the situation.
All international cases are currently being dealt with by the High Court in England, to ensure only High Court judges can authorise commercial surrogacy expenses.
High Court proceedings can appear overwhelming, but we are here to help, offer legal advice and simplify the process of international surrogacy.