You’ll need to apply for a parental order when you and your partner use a surrogate to have a child.

Getting a parental order transfers legal rights from the birth mother to you and your partner when a surrogate is used to have a child.

Parental orders

You must be genetically related to a child to apply for a parental order, ie the egg or sperm donor, and in a relationship where you and your partner are either:

  • husband and wife
  • civil partners
  • living as partners

You and your partner must also:

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

If you’re single, you can’t apply for a parental order.

How to apply

You must fill in a ‘C51 application form for a parental order’ and give this to a family proceedings court within 6 months of the child’s birth.

You’ll need to provide the child’s full birth certificate and will also be charged a court fee of £200.

The court will then set a date for the hearing and issue you with a ‘C52 acknowledgement form’ that you must give to the child’s legal parent, ie your surrogate.

The birth mother and anyone else who’s a parent of the child must agree to the parental order in writing.

You can’t apply for a parental order once the child is older than 6 months.

Adoption

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

If you choose to adopt, a registered adoption agency must be involved in your surrogacy process.

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