Surrogacy: reassigning legal parenthood
What is a parental order?
Parental orders are designed for surrogacy. Like an adoption order, they reassign parenthood fully and permanently, extinguishing the parental status of the surrogate parents entirely, and conferring legal parenthood and parental responsibility on both intended parents.
Intended parents should apply for a parental order whether the surrogate is married or unmarried, and whether the child is born in the UK or abroad.
Once a parental order is made, a new (or first UK) birth certificate is issued naming the intended parents and replacing the child's original birth certificate.
Getting a parental order
If you are considering surrogacy, make sure that you satisfy all the conditions for getting a parental order, which the court will assess after your child is born.
It is also important to understand the process of applying for a parental order.
What if a parental order is not available?
If any of the conditions cannot be satisfied, you will not be able to obtain a parental order. This might apply, for example, if the six-month application deadline is missed, the intended parent is single (or widowed), or the surrogate parents do not consent.
Do we need a parental order?
Many intended parents ask us whether they really need a parental order, and what the position would be if they took no legal steps to regularise the situation.The legal implications of taking no action depend on the status of the intended parents:
Remember that you can only apply for a parental order within six months of the child's birth.
How we can help
Contact us if you would like us to:
- Advise you on how to apply for a parental order, whether straightforward or otherwise
- Advise you on alternative options to a parental order.