Surrogacy laws in UK are certainly a bagful of tricks that requires some detailed explanation and analysis. As surrogacy is permitted in this part of the world, one needs to abide by the rules and guidelines framed by the country’s health department.
Is surrogacy legal in UK?
Surrogacy is legal in UK, however, it is regulated by the guidelines provided by the government authorities. So, before committing to a surrogacy agreement, you should conduct all the required research and analysis in regard to UK surrogacy laws.
Intended parents must know that surrogacy contracts are not enforceable, although being lawful in the UK. The Surrogacy Arrangements Act of 1985 states that it is unlawful to advertise.
You are looking for a surrogate or you are a potential surrogate looking for IP. (s). However, a number of the aforementioned non-profit organizations (sometimes known as “altruistic” groups) are legally qualified to support potential surrogates and IP(s) as they negotiate their surrogacy. On the other side, a surrogacy agreement cannot be negotiated or arranged as a commercial arrangement.
Detailed analysis of surrogacy laws in UK
- It is unlawful to advertise that you are looking for a surrogate or are available to act in that capacity.
- Although there are a few exceptions for not-for-profit organizations, it is illegal to advertise that you facilitate surrogacy for third parties
- It is prohibited to pay a third party to negotiate the parameters of a surrogacy agreement (a solicitor is not allowed to represent IPs or surrogates when negotiating the terms, for example).
- The surrogate and, if she is married or in a civil partnership, her willing spouse or civil partner, will be the child’s legal parent(s) upon birth
- After the birth, a legal procedure known as the parental order process enables the IP to take the place of the surrogate as the legal parent.
- To get a parental order and transfer legal parenthood, one of the IPs or the IP, in the case of a single application, must be genetically linked to the kid.
- It’s critical that you can follow the guidelines of a parental order before moving forward with a surrogacy agreement (or if you do not, take legal advice).
Certain Precautions in regard to UK surrogacy laws
Even though these situations are extremely rare, there is a risk that a surrogate will change her mind about the IP(s) caring for the child after birth. Furthermore, there is a possibility that the IP(s) will choose not to assume formal parental responsibility for a child born via surrogacy.
On the other side, there is a chance that the relationship between the surrogate and the IP(s) will deteriorate or that there will be a disagreement of opinion over a care-related issue. Furthermore, there are risks related to IPs and surrogates having different expectations of contact during the process.
As a result, it is imperative that:
- You become well acquainted with surrogacy laws in UK before agreeing to a surrogacy agreement. This way, everyone comes into it knowing exactly what they are doing. Furthermore, you provide yourself with enough time to develop trust.
- Besides, you must talk about every scenario and potential result. That said, a written declaration of your goals can then be created from this conversation, and UK surrogacy agencies may be able to help you with this process.
- Some people sign surrogacy agreements without the help of a group, such as friends, family members, and those who want to match alone. If you choose not to accept their assistance, you might wish to follow the process that they would guide you through.
Defining a surrogacy contract as per UK surrogacy law
- While describing how the arrangement would work and the promises each party is making to the other before the surrogacy begins, an agreement between IP(s) and a surrogate (and her spouse or partner, if she has one), is not a legally binding contract.
- A written contract is necessary, according to the major surrogacy organizations, to ensure clear communication and understanding between the intended parent(s) and the surrogate.
- It is advised that the agreement be carefully studied in advance so that all of the details are understood by both parties. The parties should consider whether additional counsel or help should be sought if there are any areas of contention. For example, there are charitable organizations, clinical specialists, and fertility counselors who can offer advice and support.
- Once everyone is satisfied with the surrogacy agreement, it is frequently written up and signed by all parties so that everyone can keep a copy. As the process progresses, intentions may change, therefore a written surrogacy agreement can act as a point of reference. It can also be a helpful tool for promoting open discussion about significant choices and problems.
Key components of a surrogacy agreement!
Since every surrogacy program is different, it’s essential to carefully analyze every element of your plan. That said, important elements of a surrogacy contract could include:
- The details about the intended parents
- Information on the surrogate (and their husband or partner), as well as the prenatal arrangements and the marital status of all partners at the time of conception
- Procedures leading to conception (embryo creation, clinic or home insemination details, number of cycles, number of embryos to be transferred, etc.)
- Pregnancy arrangements cover a number of topics, including health and well-being, emotional support, tests, and clinic/antenatal appointment schedules (for instance, how much information the IP(s) will receive and how much say they will have in consultations and decisions).
- Delivery schedules plans for after childbirth foreseeable setbacks (miscarriage, stillbirth, numerous pregnancies where a choice about fetal reduction may be required, decisions to terminate, breakdown of a relationship) and how you intend to handle them
- How you will communicate with any future partners and how open you will be with any children about their origins
- Parenting order implications in law and the application process
Being the best surrogacy agency in UK, we would advise you to connect with our legal professionals to get the best overview of surrogacy laws in UK. At become parents, we are more than happy to help you in your particular surrogacy journey with all of our best efforts!