Surrogacy is an arrangement whereby a woman carries and bears a child on behalf of the ‘intended or commissioning parents’. Under English law, the woman who carries and bears the child is the legal mother. If she is married at the time she becomes pregnant, English law will see her husband as the legal father, regardless of the genetic make-up of the child.
Due to the legal limitations and high costs related to surrogacy, international surrogacy is often an attractive option. If you are a UK national couple considering conceiving with a foreign surrogate, there are several issues to consider, including immigration – namely, issues pertaining to entry clearance, British registration and citizenship – in order to bring the child to the United Kingdom.
There are also issues related to parenthood, which would impact the immigration issues. Some foreign systems of law allow the intended parents to acquire parenthood status automatically, either through a foreign court process (such as a Californian pre-birth order) or by allowing them to be named on the birth certificate (as in India and the Ukraine). However, if you are domiciled in a part of the UK or if you intend to settle your child into the UK, the surrogates’ parental status would have to be re-assigned to the intended parents, which effectively means an application for a parental order.
The legal issues associated with international surrogacy are immensely complex, and we strongly recommended specialist legal advice at the outset to prevent unforeseen problems and give you a better chance of reaching a positive outcome. We provide advice and assistance in relation to immigration issues resulting from international surrogacy arrangements. We offer comprehensive consultations with a qualified and experienced lawyer. This can be face-to-face or by telephone, depending upon your needs and where you are located. During the consultation we cover some of the following matters:
- Advising on issues of immigration, entry clearance, citizenship.
- Providing guidance on UK surrogacy law, including parenthood and domicile status.
- Helping parents prepare parental order applications.
- Assisting with language barriers and accommodation.
- Liaising with foreign lawyers for dealing with domestic matters, i.e. FRRO clearance.
If you choose to engage our services for the matter discussed in your consultation within 30 days, the full amount of your consultation fee will be credited to the final legal fee installment toward your case.