International surrogacy matters require an in-depth knowledge of family law. Our international family law solicitors have extensive expertise in this complex area of law.
International surrogacy is an emotional and joyous time in a parent’s life but it is important to remember that there are a number of complex legal processes which must take place both in the surrogate’s home country and in the courts of England and Wales.
International surrogacy is a surrogacy arrangement where the surrogate mother lives overseas.
Surrogacy laws vary from country to country therefore it is crucial for intended parents to seek legal advice before embarking on international surrogacy, to ensure that they are recognised as the legal parents of the child both abroad and in the UK and to prevent unexpected complications during the surrogacy arrangement.
Under UK nationality law, the parents of a child are considered to be the woman who carries and gives birth to the child and her spouse at the time of the child’s conception. This means that if a child is born through international surrogacy and is returned to the UK, it is essential that the intended parents be legally recognised, and this can be done by applying for a Parental Order.
A Parental Order will transfer the rights from the surrogate mother to the intended parents, making them the legal parents of the child. It is important to remember that there are time limits for applying for a Parental Order and that seeking legal assistance is imperative.
Our international family law solicitors regularly assist intended parents in securing Parental Orders in international surrogacy cases. Our solicitors will represent parents at the Parental Order hearing as well as preparing the application for the court.
Intended parents must apply for a passport for their child before they can return to the UK otherwise a child may become stateless. Applying for a passport for a child born via international surrogacy may involve proving a genetic link between one parent and the child, as well as complying with UK immigration law. The surrogate mother will also have to supply paperwork including details of her marital status.
There is also likely to be a contract between the parents and the surrogate mother – in the UK, the law only requires that a surrogate mother overseas is paid reasonable expenses, although most arrangements will involve a fee paid to the mother for acting as the surrogate.
Taking legal advice before embarking on international surrogacy is essential. International surrogacy is a complex area of family law and each country has its own rules and regulations that need to be adhered to. Seeking out expert legal assistance will ensure that you do not encounter any legal difficulties that could cause major difficulties for all involved.
Our team offers sensitive and practical advice on international surrogacy agreements and work closely with our immigration department in order to ensure that your child’s right to enter the UK is established without any legal complications.
The Duncan Lewis Family department is ranked by The Legal 500 for its Family and Matrimonial work and includes members of both the Law Society Family Advanced Panel and the Law Society Children Panel.
Collectively, our staff can speak over 60 languages and our international family solicitors have a network of affiliates overseas, making us well placed to advise on international adoption in different jurisdictions.
Our international family solicitors advise heterosexual couples, same-sex couples, single parents, and co-parenting partnerships on international surrogacy, including advising on agreements in which more than one child might be born of the same surrogate mother, or where there may be siblings born in the future.
Duncan Lewis offers both fixed fee and hourly rates of payment on all international family law matters. A solicitor will advise further in relation to fees and which payment method is appropriate once a case is assessed.
We recommend clients to get in touch as soon as possible to discuss international surrogacy so that all the necessary legal agreements can be put in place as efficiently as possible, ensuring you are able to focus on the practicalities in an informed and supportive environment.
For expert legal advice on international surrogacy, contact Duncan Lewis International Family Law Solicitors in confidence on 033 3772 0409.