Surrogacy in the UK is firmly on the map and more surrogates and intended parents are coming together to create families. We help intended parents by providing comprehensive guidance on how surrogacy works in the UK and by supporting journeys on professionally-managed basis from start to finish.
Ensuring that you set up your UK surrogacy on solid foundations is critical, and we can assist you through our Matching and Management Service.
If you are considering whether UK surrogacy is right for you, or what the other options might be abroad, then having an Options Review is a good way of getting a better understanding of the lay of the land. This meeting, with one of our knowledgeable team members, is designed to help you understand how surrogacy works, as well as the budgets and logistics that you would need to consider.
Surrogacy itself is legal but advertising for a surrogate and brokering a surrogacy relationship on a profit-making basis is not. The legal framework is ill-defined but the government have published guidance on .GOV as a backup until the law is reformed.
The Law Commission is currently undertaking a review of the current law and we are hopeful that this will result in a more meaningful and effective legal framework. Until this happens (in at least 3 or 4 years), the practical implications of the current legal framework are that there is a general shortage of UK surrogates, and you can expect a wait for find a surrogate who is right for you (as opposed to going to other destinations like the US or Canada where matching times are shorter and more predictable).
Because the legal framework is tricky, all our services include legal advice on your arrangement, via our sister organisation NGA Law, to ensure that you have what you need to understand the court process that you will need to undertake and what implications the legal criteria might have on your decisions.
There are several costs and fees to think about and budget for when undertaking surrogacy in the UK. Each situation is unique and costs vary depending on your situation and location.
There is a lot of confusion around what surrogates can be paid in the UK. The law encourages payments of no more than 'reasonable expenses' (by making this something the family court considers as part of the application for legal parenthood) but does not make it illegal to pay more and allows the family court to authorise payments of more than expenses retrospectively if necessary. The law also gives no clarity about what is and is not a reasonable expense.
In practice, we typically see payments to surrogates of between £8,000 and £20,000 which may be for a combination of out of pocket expenses, nice to haves like recuperation holidays and/or a modest element of compensation. The family court seems to be comfortable with this approach, and there has never been a case where a parental order was refused because too much was paid.
It is very important to make sure that a surrogate is not left out of pocket, so even if a surrogate only wants to claim her expenses it is important to be clear about what is included. Expenses might include:
Essentially, anything that would normally arise out of a pregnancy.
Under UK law, if your surrogate is based in the UK, then she (and her husband, wife or civil partner if she has one) will be the legal parent/s, regardless of her genetic connection to the child she gives birth to. In order to become your child's legal parents, you will have to apply to the family court for a Parental Order. Our sister organisation NGA Law has helped hundreds of families with legal parenthood and is happy to help you understand how this applies to you and the process to apply for a Parental Order. Contact us to find out more about how we can help.
Many intended parents go abroad to find their surrogate and there are a number of destinations that offer regulated surrogacy including the US, Canada, Georgia, Ukraine and Greece. There are a number of other unregulated destinations that are evolving and should be approached with caution. The US is the most established destination and Canada also has a robust legal framework (although matches are managed differently than the US).
You can find out more by looking at:
Alternatively contact us to book in for an Options Review Meeting.