For various reasons, not everyone is able to have a child in the conventional sense and having just had Christmas it can be a particuarly difficult time for those that long for a family of their own. Happily, for those who are unable to give birth to a child themselves, with the advancements in science and society, more and more people have been able to become parents to their own genetic children through assisted reproduction and surrogacy, than ever before. Surrogacy is no longer just the domain of the rich and famous, such as Elton John and his partner David Furnish, or Nicole Kidman.

So, what is surrogacy? In short, surrogacy is the process of a woman carrying a baby for another person. There is no commercial surrogacy in this country, unlike for example, certain states in America, but a surrogate can be paid reasonable expenses.

Did you know that under English law, the woman who gives birth to a child, is always regarded as the child’s mother, regardless of whether the birth mother is a surrogate. If the surrogate is married, then her husband is considered to be the father to the child. This situation is unsatisfactory as the intended parents have no legal status upon birth of their child. They must therefore apply to the Court for a Parental Order which will give parental rights to the intended parents and extinguish the rights of the surrogate. According to statistics released from CAFCASS in 2015 the number of applications for Parental Orders has risen from 44 in 2005 to 220 in 2015 (January to August).

Many surrogacy arrangements are very successful but as with everything, sometimes it is not always plain sailing. If you are thinking about surrogacy, we can advise you of the important legal considerations you should be aware of before you embark on this life changing journey. Alternatively, you may already have a child born by a surrogate and need to apply for a Parental Order. We can help and guide you through the process. If you would like to speak to a member of our friendly and knowledgeable team about surrogacy, please do not hesitate to contact us 01908 693000.

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