The UK does not recognise a foreign birth certificate issued to you abroad after your surrogate has given birth. The only way in which you can get a UK birth certificate is if you gave birth or, if you have a Parental Order. Many couples are not going through the Parental Order process. Unless you have a Parental Order, you are not legal parents for the child. More and more authorities are refusing to accept foreign birth certificates including insurers, GP’s, schools and the passport office at renewal of the child’s first passport.
Regardless of the law in the country where the surrogacy took place, the surrogate is always the legal mother. Whether one of you is the legal parent will depend on the circumstances surrounding the insemination or embryo transfer and whether the surrogate is married or in a Civil Partnership. It is essential that you get advice before you start the process and preferably before you select the surrogate. We will advise you on whether you can become legal parents to the child(ren) and if so, how to return to England with the child. We will then offer you a fixed fee service to obtain a Parental Order.
A Parental Order extinguishes any legal rights that the surrogate and her husband have for the child and makes you the legal parents. If you do not secure a Parental Order by the time the child is 6 months old, you will need to consider alternatives such as adoption. This is a strict deadline that cannot be extended. We will work with you, the clinic and lawyers to ensure that all of the necessary paperwork is in place for the Parental Order process.
It is in the child’s best interests for you to obtain a UK birth certificate and formalise your legal relationship with your child. Not doing so will have serious implications for you and the child. If you do not have a Parental Order, you are not the child’s legal parents and you do not have parental responsibility to make the important decisions in the child’s life such as consenting to medical treatment. Please note that a birth certificate issued in the UK following a Parental Order, will have a short reference stating that it is being issued following the making of a Parental Order. There will be no reference to the use of donor gametes.
Please call our surrogacy lawyers for advice on birth certificates following surrogacy on 01727 884 688 or e-mail Harjit directly on firstname.lastname@example.org