Surrogacy Solicitors

Surrogacy is an arrangement, often supported by a legal agreement, whereby a woman (the surrogate mother) agrees to bear a child for another person or persons who will become the child’s parents after birth. 

Surrogacy is a highly specialised and emotive area. Legal advice is always recommended before commencement of any arrangement to ensure that all parties know exactly what their legal rights are and are clear about the process and what will be involved.

There are two types of surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy, with the surrogate using her own egg, fertilised with the intended father’s sperm, or, gestational surrogacy with the surrogate carrying the intended parent’s genetic child, conceived through IVF.

We believe it is important that the intended parents are supported through the process and can obtain good legal advice in relation to your rights. We are here to guide and support you through the process.

Surrogacy is legal in the UK, but it is illegal to advertise for a surrogate or as a surrogate, or to give or receive money as part of the process. If you opt for an international surrogate, the scenario is far more complex and it is vital that you seek specialist legal advice.

Our pricing for surrogacy legal advice is dependent on the circumstances of the arrangement and would include:

  • Whether this was an international surrogate
  • Whether immigration considerations are required
  • Whether there are any language issues to be taken into account

We offer a fixed price initial advice meeting so that we can establish your rights and arrange the right support for you. Our surrogacy lawyers will be transparent about the costs involved and can give you a clear idea of the next steps in the process.

Our advice would be to engage a lawyer as early as possible in the process.

Speak to our surrogacy lawyers in South Wales

To speak to our surrogacy solicitors about how we can help you, please contact your local JCP Solicitors office or use our contact form to ask a quick question or arrange a call back. We can meet you face to face or by video call, whichever is most convenient for you.

  • Jill Bulteel
      • 02920 855261
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  • Angela Killa
      • 01267 248893
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  • Rebecca Bates
      • 01792 525 576
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  • Laura Venn
      • 01792 525464
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  • Emily Brake
      • 02920 855263
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  • Sharon Jones
      • 01267 248890
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  • Beverley-Anne Owen
      • 01792 525 416
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  • Claire Davies
      • 01792 529657
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How does surrogacy work in the UK?

Deciding whether surrogacy is right for you is a difficult process. The reasons for surrogacy can vary and consideration needs to be given to whether other options should be considered, such as adoption. If it is decided that surrogacy is the right option for you, choosing the right  surrogate is extremely important. You must ensure that there is plenty of discussion around the expectations and responsibilities of the surrogate and the intended parents.

Your rights and the surrogate’s rights

The surrogate must be 18 or over, and must freely, with full understanding of what is involved, agree unconditionally to carry the surrogate child and agree to sign a parental order at least six weeks after the birth. 

A surrogate can lawfully refuse to give you the baby as the surrogate (whether or not genetically related) is considered the legal mother until the parental order is signed.

The legal father, if the surrogate is married and in a heterosexual relationship, is her spouse. If the surrogate is unmarried then the legal father is the genetic father, but this does not, in itself, confer parental responsibility. If the surrogate is in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership, the spouse would still be considered the child’s second parent. There are some exemptions to this which may require further legal advice.

What happens when the child is born?

The surrogate cannot give consent until at least six weeks after the birth and a parental order application must be issued within six months of the birth. There will also need to be a directions hearing before a decision is made.

A Parental Order Reporter will file a report. This takes approximately 8-12 weeks and the reporter is meant to see a child with its parents unless there are exceptionally compelling reasons. There will be a final hearing with the intended parents present, together with the baby.

Evidence of the surrogate’s understanding of the process involved and genuine consent will depend upon the process, the individual woman and the country. An example of certain evidence would include:

  • A notarised translation of all documents into surrogate mother’s native tongue if it is an international adoption
  • A letter from a UK family immigration lawyer to the surrogate mother explaining parental order procedures citizen legislation procedure 
  • Certified translation of any letters written to the surrogate mother by UK solicitors
  • Statement letter from a lawyer in the surrogate mother’s country confirming contents of relevant documents have been explained to the surrogate mother in a language that she speaks and they are of the opinion that she has full understanding

Our surrogacy solicitor fees

Our pricing for surrogacy legal advice will be based on the circumstances of the case and would include whether this was an international surrogate, whether immigration considerations are required and whether there are any language issues to be taken into account. Fees will be discussed during the first fixed fee appointment.

Surrogacy Law FAQs

Is surrogacy legal in the UK?

Surrogacy is legal in the UK but it is illegal to advertise for a surrogate, or for a surrogate to give or receive money as part of the process. If you opt for an international surrogate the scenario is more complex and it is vital that you seek specialist legal advice. 

The Surrogacy Arrangement Act 1985 forms the basis of the UK’s approach to surrogacy today, establishing a number of key principles:

  • Surrogacy arrangements are not enforceable in law
  • The Surrogacy Arrangement Act Section 2 creates criminal offences to arrange, negotiate a surrogate arrangement, or to advertise the facilitation of surrogacy 

Can you pay someone to have a baby for you in the UK?

No, but you can pay reasonably incurred expenses. Reasonably incurred expenses will depend on location and circumstances. There is no fixed sum, but there should still be a detailed breakdown of all payments made to the surrogate. Examples of reasonable expenses include, but are not limited to, loss of income if the surrogate was employed, costs of maternity clothes and out of pocket expenses such as travel.

How do parental orders work for surrogacy?

Six weeks following the birth, and within six months of the birth of the baby, the intended parents must apply for a parental order. This will commence the legal process. We recommend that legal advice is obtained in relation to the preparation of the parental order. 

What rights does an egg or sperm donor have in surrogacy?

It is important that a parental order is obtained in order to transfer the parental responsibility to the intended parents, allowing them to become the legal parents.

An example

Paul and his husband Keleb are having a baby, conceived with Paul’s sperm and a donor egg. The surrogate is Sarah, who is a single mother with two children of her own. Sarah will be the legal mother as she has carried the child, but because Sarah is unmarried, Paul who provided the sperm will be considered to be the second parent. 

Can I use a surrogate abroad?

There are a number of countries where surrogacy is not legal, for example France and China, where surrogacy is completely unregulated. A parental order made following overseas surrogacy arrangements can be made despite a breach of the foreign laws relating to the registration of the child’s birth. The child’s welfare takes precedence over public policy consideration. If this is something you are considering, it is important to seek legal advice.

Why use our surrogacy lawyers in South Wales?

Surrogacy is a delicate process with high stakes, so, it is wise to take professional legal advice before you enter into any such agreement. We have years of experience in dealing with surrogacy issues, enabling us to provide the support you need. We are accredited members of the Law Society panel and our Family team was highly ranked in the 2022 Legal 500 Client Guide. We have local offices covering the whole of South Wales, East Wales and West Wales with offices in Cardiff, Swansea, Caerphilly, Carmarthen, Cowbridge, Fishguard, Haverfordwest and St Davids.

Speak to our surrogacy solicitors in South Wales

To speak to our expert surrogacy lawyers about how we can help you, please contact your local JCP Solicitors office:

To ask a quick question or arrange a call back, use our simple contact form to make an enquiry.