Surrogacy is legal in the UK but there are a whole range of restrictions surrounding it. These include not being able to advertise yourself as a surrogate or setting up an agency which offers this service on a commercial basis.
A surrogacy agreement is unenforceable even if a contract has been agreed and signed upon, and the surrogate mother has received expenses*
* It is illegal to pay a surrogate mother for carrying a baby but it is acceptable to pay expenses such as loss of any earnings, clothing, travel etc.
However, it is useful to draw up an agreement between the surrogate and the intended couple which clearly sets out the terms of the agreement. It can help to have a solicitor present at this meeting.
Note: under English law the legal mother of a baby born via surrogacy is the surrogate mother. She has the right to keep the baby even if there is no biological connection or if she changes her mind.
But, this changes if parenthood is transferred to the intended mother as a result of a parental order or the baby is adopted after the birth.
(Source: The Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority website)
Surrogacy is not as straightforward as it seems and a great deal of thought and discussion needs to be carried out beforehand.
There are many couples who have benefited from this agreement and have become good friends with the surrogate mother over the years. She in turn may remain involved with the family and possibly help out again if they want another child.
However, there are cases where things break down which results in all manner of unpleasantness. For example, if the surrogate mother changes her mind and decides that she wants to keep the baby which causes problems for the intended couple.
If you are thinking of becoming a surrogate mother or are a couple who are unable to have a baby and are thinking about surrogacy then consider this very carefully.
Surrogacy Guide Index:
- Infertility Guide
- what is infertility?
- infertility myths
- infertility facts
- female infertility
- medical conditions
- emotional aspects of infertility
- donor insemination
- infertility and your general practitioner
- fertility success rates
- fertility treatment abroad
- infertility tests
- infertility treatment
- infertility faqs
- the cost of infertility tests and treatment
- ivf (in vitro fertilisation) and gift (gamete intra fallopian transfer)
- finding a fertility clinic
- male infertility
- pregnancy tests
- Fertility Extension