So we’ve decided that a surrogacy arrangement in India is for us. After all the ups and downs of thinking we’d found a solution only to find that our path was blocked. Having put so much time and energy into researching every aspect. After spending so much time discussing how we feel about each complex part of the process. It’s a great feeling that such a big decision has been made and to be feeling so comfortable with it.
Here’s the briefest of summaries of the legal aspects we’ve learned along the way…
International Surrogacy and UK Law
Our intention, if we’re successful and have brought baby home (I’ll write about immigration learnings later), is to apply for a Parental Order. This will create a new birth certificate and name the two of us as the legal parents. This has only been possible for same sex couples since April 2010. The court will need to be satisfied that,
- you’re in a stable relationship
- no more than reasonable expenses have been paid to the surrogate
- it is in the best interests of the child for the Parental Order to be granted.
The last point is the key one and it seems that the Courts are consistently taking as paramount the best interests of the child. But problems can arise, especially in the area of eligibility to apply. There are several conditions, but the most important one is to ensure that the surrogate mother is not married else her husband will be considered to be the father under UK law despite what any birth certificate may say.
Surrogacy and UK Immigration
Some enlightened countries like Australia use DNA testing to prove paternity and so automatic right to citizenship by descent. The UK process is less straightforward. It seems that British High Commissions have been tasked with looking closely at International surrogacy arrangements. Whereas Australians can expect to be going home 2/3 weeks after the birth, Brits can expect to be in India for around three months waiting for a passport.