Surrogacy Parental Orders

These orders that can be applied where a child has been conceived using assisted reproduction through surrogacy. The order will state that the child is to be treated as the child of those applying for the order who in turn will be regarded as the parents.

The application is made under section 54 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008.

Such orders are necessary because only one member of the couple may have a genetic link to the child as a result of assisted reproduction.

For example, in the case of surrogacy the surrogate mother is regarded as the legal mother of the child. If she is married, then her husband or civil partner is regarded as the other legal parent regardless of whether the couple using the surrogate provided their own sperm and/or eggs.

If the surrogate is unmarried and the couple provide the sperm then only the male member of the couple who provided the sperm will be regarded as the legal father and the surrogate mother will be regarded as the legal mother. Where the female member of the couple provides her eggs the surrogate mother will still be regarded as the legal mother.

This means in the case of couples using a surrogate only one of them will legally be regarded as the parent unless a court order is obtained.

To apply for a Parental Order you must be either married, in a civil partnership or are unmarried but have lived together in ‘an enduring family relationship’.

The child must also be living with you at the time you apply for an order and one of you must live in either the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

The surrogate mother, or any other person who is currently regarded as the legal parent will be the other party in the court proceedings .

They must have consented to you making an application and an application must be made no later than six months after the child’s birth.

1. Both of you must be over 18 to apply

2. No money or other benefit (other than reasonable expenses) must have been paid for the handing over of the child or for making a parental order and getting the legal parent(s) to consent to you both making an application.

3. Genetic material from one of you must have been used to create the embryo (sperm or eggs) by artificial insemination.

If you do not meet the above criteria you may be able to apply instead adopt the child.

External links:
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008


How to apply for Orders - step by step process