Treating surrogacy as a relationship
When you finally find a surrogate who wants to carry a baby for you, it can feel both exciting and overwhelming. Building a relationship with your surrogate that will last during the pregnancy, the birth and beyond, is an important part of the process.
What type of surrogacy do you intend to undertake?
There are two types of surrogacy: gestational and traditional.
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate will donate her egg and is therefore genetically related to the child.
In gestational surrogacy, the egg will come from a donor or one of the intended parents (same with the sperm), so the child will not be genetically related to the surrogate.
Becoming the child’s legal parents
In the UK, no matter which type of surrogacy you choose, the surrogate will be the child’s legal parent at birth. In order for the intended parents to become the child’s legal parents, they will have to apply for a parental order or adoption after the birth of the baby.
If there is a disagreement between the surrogate and the intended parents about who the child’s legal parents should be, the court will decide what is in the best interests of the child.
Surrogacy agreements in the UK
Although surrogacy is legal in the UK, surrogacy agreements are not enforceable.
While writing down information about how the surrogacy process will work, in the form of a surrogacy agreement, can be very useful so that both parties fully understand what they expect from each other, a court cannot enforce it.
This is why it is vital that the intended parents and the surrogate work together to build a lasting relationship.
Surrogacy should not be treated as a simple business arrangement
In the UK, you are not allowed to pay a surrogate, other than for their reasonable expenses. Surrogacy, in the UK at least, is not viewed as a traditional business transaction.
Communication is key
While understanding the legal implications of the surrogacy process in the UK is vital, it’s important not to treat surrogacy purely as a business arrangement.
The surrogacy process requires flexibility, compromise and understanding, both from the intended parents and the surrogate.
Talking openly and honestly with your intended surrogate about your feelings and needs – and listening to theirs – will enable you to put together solid foundations on which to build what is, for many, a lifelong relationship.
Are you considering having a baby through a surrogate? Obtaining legal advice is highly recommended, so that you fully understand your rights, your partner’s rights and the rights of the surrogate. Get in touch for your free video consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.