Surrogacy abroad

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If you find it difficult to find a surrogate in the UK, you may decide to research going through surrogacy abroad. Commercial surrogacy is not legal in this country however, it is not illegal for you to enter into a commercial surrogacy arrangement abroad, providing that it is legal in that country. You should always take legal advice from surrogacy lawyers in the country where the surrogacy will take place before any arrangement is confirmed and certainly before any treatment begins.

We read about couples who are stranded abroad with a child that they cannot bring home. Often it is the case that the birth mother abroad has no legal rights to the child and English Law does not recognise the couple as legal parents until a Parental Order has been granted unless the surrogate is unmarried. The cases we read about are mostly couples who did not take legal advice before the surrogacy arrangement either from lawyers in this country or from lawyers in the surrogate's country.

It is essential that you also have legal advice in this country before considering any arrangements for surrogacy abroad. You need to make sure that you will be permitted to return to England with the child and apply to the court for a Parental Order. Once a Parental Order is granted, the legal rights of the surrogate (and her husband) are extinguished. There is a strict deadline within which to apply for a Parental Order and this deadline can never be extended.

There is nothing wrong with surrogacy abroad but take advice so that you are prepared. Have a firm plan in place and know the law. Many British couples opt for surrogacy abroad and return to England fairly swiftly with their children.

Surrogacy is very popular with infertile couples or gay couples. Contact me for some advice or to talk through any plans that you may have. If it assists, I can put you in contact with couples who have been through surrogacy abroad and are willing to share their story.

Best regards

Harjit Sarang

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