A recent announcement tells us that Kim Kardashian has retained a surrogate to enable her to have another child. In the USA surrogacy is usually a commercial transaction, meaning you can pay someone to have your child.
In this country, it is not as simple. We have tight laws governing surrogacy and how it can be achieved.
What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is when a child is carried by another woman. There are two types of surrogacy – total surrogacy and partial surrogacy. Both, by their very nature, can be fraught with complexity.
In the UK, the host mother is deemed to be the biological mother and has parental responsibility immediately, once the baby is born.
This means that although the biological mother and father are the commissioning parents, the host mother still has the right on birth to say what happens to the to the child. The commissioning parents need to obtain a parental order before they become the legal parents of the child. The host mother loses her parental responsibility when that order is made. This application cannot be made until the baby is six weeks old.
Unlike the USA, in UK you cannot pay another person to have a child for you. If there been any payment to the host mother for carrying a child over and above reasonable expenses, the court may consider it an illegal transaction.
How to avoid complications
If you are thinking of surrogacy, it is vital to get legal advice about the pitfalls prior to entering into it. This is important not only if you are going to be commissioning parents but also if you are interested in being a host mother.
At The Family Law Company, we pride ourselves on being able to give straightforward and practical advice to make the process less stressful.
Contact our surrogacy team for further information. 01392 421 777