It's important to understand the laws regarding surrogacy in the UK before you even think about becoming a surrogate mother or looking for someone to bear you child. Surrogacy is perfectly legal in the UK but no payment can be made for the actual act. Advertising for surrogates or intended parents is also prohibited.
Surrogacy arrangements are not legally enforceable in the UK, even if a contract has been signed. However, courts have usually ruled in favour of parents seeking to uphold a surrogacy arrangement. Nevertheless, the well-being of the child will always take precedence, so there is no guarantee that a contract will hold.
Under UK law, the surrogate will be the legal mother of the child unless parenthood is transferred through a parental order or adoption after the child's birth. The woman who actually gives birth to the baby is always treated as the mother.
The surrogate has the legal right to change her mind and keep the baby, even in cases when the child she gave birth to is not genetically related to her. This can be terribly unfair on the prospective parents, and they may successfully seek redress in the courts.
In the UK, the child's legal father will be the surrogate’s husband, civil partner, or partner, unless parenthood is transferred through a parental order or adoption. This means an individual who may have had absolutely nothing to do with the surrogacy process, can find himself as the legal father of the child.
If a surrogate child was born outside the UK, the prospective parents can apply for a parental order only if they are living in the UK. While waiting for the parental order, the child will require a visa in order to enter the UK.
As you can see, surrogacy laws in the UK can be both complex and unfair. Although, taking legal advice will not always prevent disputes from arising, it will give you a better chance of reaching a positive outcome.
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