"We are thinking about surrogacy, what should we know?"

Surrogacy may also be an option you wish to consider for a variety of reasons. It is always recommended that you take legal advice so that you understand what is required to ensure that you and your partner are the legal parents of your child at the end of the process.  Being a legal parent is different to parental responsibility and the two confer different legal rights and responsibilities.  

  • A child can only ever have two legal parents
  • Under UK law, a child's birth mother will automatically be their legal parent when they are born, even if she  is not their biological mother because it is not her eggs that have been used
  • For a child that is conceived through a UK licensed fertility clinic, the birth mother can sign an agreement through the clinic to name her cohabiting partner or the biological father as the second legal parent
  • For a child conceived outside of a UK licensed fertility clinic and where the birth mother is cohabiting at the time of conception, the second legal parent, under UK law, will be the donor father. They will then have parental responsibility if they are registered on the birth certificate.
  • It is possible for a cohabiting couple to apply for the birth mother's partner to adopt the child.  That way, the birth mother’s partner can become a legal parent and acquire parental responsibility
  • If a surrogate is used, a parental order is needed to ensure both intended parents are legal parents.
  • Who can be a legal parent where a child is conceived through donor insemination, is determined by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (2008).  A child can have two mums or two dads named as legal parents, depending on the circumstances.    

Expert legal advice

For more information or an informal chat about your next steps, contact us on 0344 326 0450 or email us.

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