Surrogacy for non-UK advisers
We work with many attorneys, agencies and other professionals around the world, and have significant experience successfully helping British parents get home safely and get their parentage approved by the UK courts. Natalie is a member of the American Bar Association's ART law committee and also works with key leading surrogacy law experts in the Ukraine, India and South Africa.
We know how important it is to get things set up correctly from the start. By understanding how UK law works and complying with it, you can help your clients' journey be as smooth as possible. If there is anything else which would be useful for you to find here, contact us.
Downloadable information leaflets
We have written a series of downloadable leaflets for you to use when working with British clients:
Guidance for non UK advisors - a 'what you need to know' leaflet to help you.
Guidance for British intended parents in the USA for surrogacy - a 'what you need to know' leaflet for you to give to your clients.
Resources on UK surrogacy law
The law on surrogacy in the UK is in two pieces of legislation: the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985, which restricts the arrangement of surrogacy in the UK, and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, which deals with parenthood and parental orders (see sections 33 to 55).
The law is implemented by the UK family courts. Recently there has been a string of leading cases dealing with international surrogacy arrangements where the court has had to 'authorise' payments of more than reasonable expenses to foreign surrogate mothers. These give an excellent feel for how the UK courts deal with these kinds of cases:
Re X (children) (2011) - the President of the High Court Family Division awarded parenthood to the British parents of twins born through an arrangement with two surrogate mothers in India, endorsing Mr Justice Hedley's previous judgments and authorising the payments made.
Re IJ (a child) (2011) - a case that involved a British couple who entered into a Ukrainian surrogacy arrangement, with Mr Justice Hedley warning of the pitfalls of foreign surrogacy (we acted for the parents in this case).
Re L (a minor) (2010) - an important case awarding parenthood to a British couple who had a baby through surrogacy in Illinois, USA. This was the first case heard under the UK's new 2008 legislation and created the landmark principle that the court must make the child's welfare its paramount consideration; only in the 'clearest case of the abuse of public policy' would a parental order be refused (we acted for the parents in this case).
Re S (2009) - this case followed Re X and Y and set out in more detail the issues to be considered by the court when weighing up whether to authorise a commercial surrogacy arrangement. It involved a Californian surrogacy arrangement and made it clear that the court would apply its own definition of expenses, regardless of what any foreign contract said.
Re X and Y (foreign surrogacy) (2008) – the first UK case to award parenthood to a British couple who conceived through an international commercial surrogacy arrangement. The case involved a Ukrainian surrogacy arrangement in which more than reaonable expenses was paid, and the court decided to authorise the payment, against UK public policy, in order to protect the welfare of the twin children involved (we acted for the parents in this case).