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Birth Certificates – Surrogacy

A foreign birth certificate issued to you after your surrogate has given birth, is not a recognised document under UK law.  Unless you have a Parental Order, you are not legal parents for the child and you will not get a UK birth certificate.  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.  It is essential for you to apply for a Parental Order to secure a UK birth certificate for your child following surrogacy abroad.

If your surrogacy takes place in the UK, the surrogate will register the birth and be shown as legal mother.  Once the parental Order is granted, a new certificate is issued showing you as Parent(s). There will be no reference to ‘mother’ or ‘father’.  All UK birth certificates made following the making of a Parental Order list you as ‘parent’.

The new birth certificate (Parental Order certificate) 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 surrogate or use of donor gametes.

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 preferably before you select the surrogate. I will advise you on whether you can become legal parents and if so, how to return to England with the child.   You will be offered a fixed fee service to obtain a Parental Order.

The 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. I 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 status.  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 call surrogacy solicitors for advice on birth certificates following surrogacy on 01727 884 688 or e-mail  directly on

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I provide legal advice on surrogacy based on the law in England and Wales.

I have acted for clients working with many agencies across the world.  I will not recommend any surrogacy provider, destination, agency or clinic.   If my advice concludes that you can become legal parents following the arrangement you are considering, it should not be taken as advice to proceed.  If I have acted for couples who have entered into similar arrangements, you should not take that as advice to proceed.   You must always do your own due diligence on any agency / destination.  A successful arrangement for someone else won’t always mean a successful arrangement for you.  I will not take part in any negotiations for your surrogacy arrangement nor, will I review your surrogacy contract.