Surrogacy: legal rights of parents and surrogates

Become the child’s legal parent

You must apply for a parental order or adoption if you want to become the legal parent of the child.

Parental orders

You can apply for a parental order with a partner or on your own.

Apply with a partner

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.

How to apply in England or Wales

You must fill in a ‘C51 application form for a parental order’ and take or send it to a family court.

You do not have to use your local family court, but you’ll need to explain why if you do not.

You’ll need to provide the child’s full birth certificate and will also be charged a court fee of £215.

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, in other words, your surrogate.

The surrogate and anyone else who’s a parent of the child must agree to the parental order by filling in form A101A.

How to apply in Scotland or Northern Ireland

The process is different if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

In Scotland, contact the Court of Session or Sheriff Court.

In Northern Ireland, contact the Courts and Tribunals Service.

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.