What is surrogacy

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What is surrogacy

What is surrogacy? Surrogacy is the process by which a lady carries a child for an individual or a couple.  Depending on the arrangement, the intention will be for the surrogate to transfer her parental and legal rights to the individual or couple (Intended Parents).

Surrogacy is gestational or traditional.  Gestational surrogacy is when the surrogate mother has no biological connection to the child.   IVF procedures will be used to create an embryo and that embryo will be transferred into the surrogate’s uterus.   An embryo is created using the gametes of the Intended Parents.  It may also be created using an individual’s gametes with an egg or sperm donor (known or anonymous). In order to get parental and legal rights, either you or your partner must be biologically connected to the child.

Straight / Traditional surrogacy is where the surrogate mother is biologically connected to the child.  The surrogate agrees to use her own gametes in which case self insemination or IUI (intrauterine insemination) may be attempted using the male IPs semen.  I advise that you use a clinic for this procedure to eliminate any doubt as to the artificial nature of the conception.

Surrogacy can be used by gay couples to create a family.  An embryo is created using a known or anonymous egg donor and then fertilised with semen from one of the men.  The embryo is then transferred into the womb of the surrogate.    In some countries it is permissible to transfer an embryo belonging to each male.  This is not possible in the UK.   For legal and parental rights, one of the couple must be biologically related to the child.

A lesbian couple may choose to use a surrogate.  A known or anonymous sperm donor is used to create an embryo using eggs from one of the females.  The resulting embryo is then transferred into the womb of the surrogate.  For legal and parental rights, one of the couple must be biologically related to the child.

A single person may choose to use a surrogate.  An embryo is created using a known or anonymous donor.  The resulting embryo is then transferred into the womb of the surrogate.  A single person may apply for a Parental Order if biologically connected to the child, therefore you must take legal advice before this process.  At present the UK law does not support surrogacy with double donation.

The most important thing to do is to get legal advice before you proceed.  You need to be sure that you can become the legal parent once the child is born.  Legal parenthood is determined before insemination or embryo transfer and cannot be undone without a court Order or in some cases, it can never be undone.

For more information and advice about surrogacy please contact me.

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

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.