UK law provides an increasingly familiar path for couples (gay and straight) that conceive through surrogacy.
British Surrogacy Laws:
An Increasingly Familiar Process
Surrogacy is legal in the UK, but it is restricted. For example, it is a criminal offense to advertise that you are looking for a surrogate mother or willing to act as a surrogate mother.
That said, the law provides a solution for couples (gay and straight) that conceive through surrogacy in the UK. And there is an increasing frequency of international surrogacy, where couples have their child conceived and delivered outside the UK. In such cases, couples can apply to the court to be named on the child's birth certificate as the official parents after the child is born.
Despite the legal prohibition, international surrogacy contracts are often enforceable. Indian guidelines allow the intended parents to become legal parents and named on the birth certificate automatically (for heterosexual couples). This often simplifies the process greatly.
Passports and Travel Documents
The process of applying for entry into the UK (or a British passport) involves the Home Office/ immigration authorities. The process is completely separate from petitioning for permanent status as parents, which involves the family courts.
Parents of surrogate children in India will need to apply for a discretionary grant of citizenship and/or entry clearance to bring their child home to the UK. The good news is this is an increasingly familiar process.
Once the entry clearance is given, the couple may return with the child to the UK. There they typically begin the process of establishing full parental rights through a “Parental Order.”
The English process to establish the intended parents as the sole parents and guardians of the child is a “parental order”. If the surrogate mother is unmarried, the child may be born "stateless", in which case the intended parents must petition to have their names placed on the final UK birth certificate.
A parental order reassigns parenthood to both parents fully and permanently, and results in the child's birth certificate to be issued with the intended parents as the sole parents. It also removes the surrogate's legal status and responsibilities under English law. Same sex parents have been able to apply for parental orders in the UK since April 2010.
Intended parents should apply for a parental order as soon as their baby is born, and must be done within six months of the birth. Once a parental order is made, a British birth certificate is issued naming the intended parents and replacing the child's original Indian birth certificate.
U.K. SURROGACY LAWS
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