Surrogacy: legal rights of parents and surrogates

Overview

Surrogacy is legal in the UK, but if you make a surrogacy agreement it cannot be enforced by the law.

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.

You cannot pay a surrogate in the UK, except for their reasonable expenses.

Donor’s rights

If you use donated sperm or eggs with your surrogate, read about the rights of your donor.