Fast facts: surrogacy

Lots of babies sitting on a carpet

Five things you should know about surrogacy…

Lots of babies sitting on a carpet 1. Is surrogacy legal?

Surrogacy in the UK is legal. The element of surrogacy which is illegal in the UK is the commercial element, i.e. paying your surrogate.

In some countries commercial surrogacy is legal but any money paid to your surrogate will still be carefully scrutinised by the UK courts.

2. How much do surrogates get paid?

UK courts do recognise that in some countries commercial surrogacy is legal. Any sums paid to the surrogate must be reasonable as they are assessed by the UK courts. The reasonableness of the amount paid to the surrogate through ‘expenses’ would depend on the ‘going rate’ in that country or state.

3. Who are the child’s parents?

Under UK law, the surrogate will be the legal mother of the child. If she is married, her husband will be the legal father. It is of no relevance that they are not biologically related to the child. To change this position, an application must be made to the English court post birth.

4. Does the surrogate have to be based in the UK?

No. You are free to choose whether you select a surrogate in the UK or abroad. Your surrogate does not need to be somebody that you know.

5. What happens if the surrogate refuses to hand over the child?

Under UK law, court proceedings would have to be issued as the surrogate mother would legally be the mother of the child regardless of whether or not there is a biological link. In some countries, such as India or certain US states, all parental rights are surrendered by the surrogate prior to birth and therefore the birth mother has no right to keep the child.

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The Lester Aldridge family team deal with these and other issues on a regular basis.

lester-aldridge-logoIf you would like to discuss any aspect of divorce, separation, arrangements for your children or wish to protect your assets prior to getting married, contact the family team on 01202 786161 or email


About Lester Aldridge LLP

Lester Aldridge LLP is a nationally recognised law firm with offices in London, Bournemouth and Southampton. The family team are leaders in their field. Jane, Jo and Rosie are specialist family solicitors with a wealth of experience in all areas of family law from divorce to children, prenuptial agreements to the settlement of financial disputes and everything in between. These women are feisty when they need to be. But their approach is designed to reduce conflict in order to ensure the best possible outcome. They recognise that family issues can be extremely emotional and they offer access to specialist advice delivered in a friendly, approachable and understandable way designed to guide you from start to finish. If you would like an informal, no-obligation chat with Jane, Jo or Rosie please telephone 03300 539754.