Our specialist immigration solicitors can help you bring your surrogage child to the UK if your surrogate gives birth to your surrogate child outside the UK. Contact our specialist immigration solicitors in London, Manchester and Birmingham for expert legal advice and representations concerning your child surrogate child's application to join you in the UK. Ask a question to our immigration solicitors for free immigration advice or submit an online request to schedule an appointment for detailed legal advice concerning your surrogate child's application to join you in the UK.

Surrogate Parents Are Legal Parents At Birth

If you use a surrogate, they will be the child’s legal parent at birth. If the surrogate is married or in a civil partnership, their spouse or civil partner will be the child’s second parent at birth, unless they did not give their permission.

Legal parenthood can be transferred by parental order or adoption after the child is born. If there is disagreement about who the child’s legal parents should be, the courts will make a decision based on the best interests of the child.

Surrogacy Agreements

The intended parents and surrogate can record how they want the arrangement to work in a surrogacy agreement. Surrogacy agreements are not enforceable by UK law, even if you have a signed document with your surrogate and have paid their expenses. However, the surrogacy agreement may be enforceable by the law of the country in which the child is born and whose legal jurisdiction is provided for in the agreement to resolve any disputes arising from the agreement.

Rights Of Sperm Donor

A sperm donor could be the legal parent of a surrogate child born from the donation of sperm. If a sperm donor donates sperm through a Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) licensed clinic, they will not:

  • be the legal parent of any child born
  • have any legal obligation to any child born
  • have any rights over how the child will be brought up
  • be asked to support the child financially
  • be named on the birth certificate

A sperm donor who uses an unlicensed clinic to donate sperm will be the legal father of any child born from donation of sperm under UK law.

Rights Of Egg Donor

If you give birth to a surroage child, you’re always considered the legal mother in UK law even when using a donated egg.

Parental Order To Become The Legal Parent Of The Surrogate Child

You must apply for a parental order or adoption if you want to become the legal parent of the child. You can apply for a parental order with a partner or on your own. One of you must be genetically related to the child - in other words, be the egg or sperm donor.

You must be one of the following:

  • married
  • civil partners
  • living as partners

You must also:

  • have the child living with you
  • reside permanently in either the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man

You must apply within 6 months of the child’s birth.

Apply as an individual

You must be genetically related to the child - in other words, be the egg or sperm donor.

You must also:

  • have the child living with you
  • reside permanently in either the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man

You can apply for a child of any age if you apply before 4 July 2019. From 4 July 2019 you must apply within 6 months of the child’s birth.

Adoption

If neither you or your partner are related to the child, adoption is the only way you can become the child’s legal parent.

Children Born Outside The UK

If your surrogate gives birth abroad, you can only apply for a parental order if you and your partner are living in the UK. If the child is not a UK or EU national, they will need a visa to enter the UK during this process. Using a surrogate abroad can be complicated because different countries have different rules. You may want to get legal advice or contact The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for more information.

After Your child is born

Once your child is born, you will need to become the child’s legal parent. More information on how to do this can be found online Surrogacy: legal rights of parents and surrogates.

A Parental Order can only be made by the court in England and Wales after the child has reached the UK. Pursuant to 54 and 54A of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, at least one of the intended parents (or the intended parent in the case of single applicants) must be domiciled in the UK or the Chanel islands or the Isle of Man, and the child must be living with the intended parent or parents in the UK at the time of the Parental Order application. Further, Parental Orders may only be granted where at least one parent has a genetic link to the child. There are various other conditions that need to be met.

The process is different if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. More information is contained in the guidance: Surrogacy: legal rights of parents and surrogates.

Bringing Your Surrogate Child Born Abroad To The UK

You should seek independent legal advice to confirm that the child in entitled to enter and remain within the UK. In many instances this entitlement will be linked to the status of the intended parents.

British Passport Application For Surrogate Child

If the child is entitled to British Citizenship, the most straightforward route may be to apply for a UK passport from overseas. Please see the section below for further guidance on the passport application process. In many instances, the complex nature of surrogacy will mean that an application for a UK passport will also be complex as a result of which the processing time of the British passport application may be longer than the standard service standard for British passpport application from overseas.

You will need to provide a number of documents in support of your application for a British passport for your child or children. An independent legal adviser may be able to help you with this application. You will need to provide:

  • documentation regarding your surrogacy arrangement including any legal agreements – signed by all parties
  • medical evidence if your surrogacy arrangement has involved fertility treatment; and/or documentation from the surrogacy organisation about the circumstances of the surrogacy
  • any pre or post birth court orders issued in the country where the surrogacy procedure and/or birth took place
  • consent from the surrogate mother confirming that she has given up any rights to the child and where relevant from her husband if married at the time of conception or in line with local laws
  • documentation confirming the marital status and identity of the surrogate mother
  • birth certificate
  • proof that your child has a claim to British nationality
  • proof of your identity (for example, your passport or birth certificate)
  • proof of your marriage or civil partnership (if this is relevant to your application)

UK Visa To Bring Your Child To The UK

If the child is not entitled to a UK passport, then your child may be entilted to an appropriate UK visa to join you in the UK.

 

 

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