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Assisted Reproduction

UK Attorneys Express Concerns About Overseas Commercial Surrogacy Arrangements

While I do not believe there has been a sea change in UK law, it does serve as an important reminder to all prospective Intended Parents in the UK to speak to an independent attorney to ensure that their surrogacy agreement complies with all applicable laws. In particular, it is imperative that the payment to the gestational carrier not be disproportionate to her actual expenses. From today’s Guardian:

Childless couples who acquire a baby using a surrogate mother abroad risk not being recognised as its parents in Britain if they flout British law by paying fees, fertility lawyers have warned.

Such payments, which can be as high as £30,000, could lead to those who have made them being refused permission by the high court to become the child’s legal parents, specialist solicitors say.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 allows couples entering into deals with a surrogate mother overseas to pay her only what is allowed here – “expenses reasonably incurred”, such as compensation for time off work, medical bills and living expenses.

But lawyers handling such cases have told the Guardian a growing number of couples are embarking on international surrogacy in places such as India, the US and Ukraine, and that many of them are in effect flouting the law by paying whatever is needed to get a child. This could cause serious problems for them and the children as the high court may not grant a parental order.

“The risk couples face if they pay a disproportionate amount in expenses is that the high court may refuse to authorise those expenses. That could result in the parental order application failing and in turn they would have no status as parents under English law,” said John Randle, a leading surrogacy lawyer.


One comment for “UK Attorneys Express Concerns About Overseas Commercial Surrogacy Arrangements”

  • Almamay

    I went to an HFEA conference recently and I believe it is right to say that they are setting their sights on surrogacy. Be afraid, be very afraid. It seems to me any thing the HFEA becomes involved with results in infertile couples beind treated like they are stupid and can’t make informed decisions. Very sad. And depressing.

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