The laws around surrogacy in England are not straightforward. While surrogacy is legal, many practices associated with surrogacy are not
For example, it is a criminal offence to advertise for a surrogate or for a surrogate to advertise surrogacy services. Surrogacy agreements themselves are not legally binding or enforceable but it is very much recommended to have one so that the IPs and the surrogate know where they each stand. Anthony Gold specifically cannot advise on surrogacy agreements as it is illegal to do so (nor can any solicitor of England and Wales). However, usually the surrogacy organisations can provide assistance.
Anthony Gold provide advice on the legal process and can obtain parental orders on behalf of the IP(s). It is important for the IP(s) to appreciate that the surrogate will have automatic legal parenthood and parental responsibility of the child by virtue of the birth. It may come as a shock to know that if the surrogate is married, her husband will be the second parent NOT the biological father. This set up does not reflect the practicalities of the newly created family and requires legal rectification.
Those discussions can be sought well in advance of the birth of a child. It is important for the IP(s) to gain as much advice and information as possible before embarking on a surrogacy journey given what is involved. At Anthony Gold, we take into account the emotional dimension of conceiving a child by surrogacy and aim to be as supportive to our clients possible while also providing comprehensive legal advice.
We can provide advice in relation to disputes arising from a surrogacy arrangement, such as the IPs relationship breaking down or a dispute with the surrogate (which is rare). It will be important to ascertain whether parenthood has been resolved before any advice can be given regarding child arrangements. At Anthony Gold we are able to provide holistic advice on any children dispute that may arise in this context.
We can help heterosexual or same-sex couples and advise on all aspects of the surrogacy journey. If you require further information or legal advice regarding domestic or international surrogacy arrangements, please contact Fiona Lyon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 940 4060 to book an appointment.