Continuing our series of mini-articles for National Fertility Awareness Week, and following our article on surrogacy in the UK, there are further elements to think about in the legal process of surrogacy if you are considering using a foreign surrogate.
Surrogacy laws vary between countries and many couples who wish to become parents via surrogacy are looking to countries with less restrictive procedures in place, for example Ukraine and various US states such as California. It is essential, however, that you are aware of the implications of using a foreign surrogate.
Foreign surrogacy law
There are no international conventions currently in force to govern surrogacy and therefore any orders made abroad are not enforceable in the UK. It is important therefore, that even where an order or arrangement has been agreed abroad, the intended parents still apply for a Parental Order once back in the UK. This is particularly important in countries where the intended parents are allowed to seek an order before the birth of the child, thereby becoming the legal parents before the child is born. This will not change the legal position of the intended parents in the UK and therefore a parental order is still necessary to obtain legal responsibility for the child.
It is also important to note that surrogacy is illegal in some countries and in others it is completely unregulated. If you wish to enter surrogacy agreements abroad, it is wise to look to a country that has reliable legal procedures in place.
Bringing your surrogate child back to the UK can be a complex issue and it is important to seek advice on immigration issues that may arise on entering the UK from the country of the child’s birth.
It is important to ensure that the child will be given permission to enter the UK on arrival, especially as the UK Border Agency may have additional entry requirements.
The Lester Aldridge family team deal with these and other issues on a regular basis and are frequently instructed by clients with disputes relating to the arrangements for their children.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of divorce, separation or wish to protect your assets prior to getting married, contact the family team on 01202 786161 or email [email protected].