International surrogacy – deadline approaching for single applicants to apply for a parental order

19 June 2019

In January, we blogged about the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Remedial) Order 2018 (the “Remedial Order”), which came into force then and permitted single applicants to apply for a parental order for the first time in the UK.

As with the original Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, the Remedial Order provides that intended parents will have six months from the birth of their child in which to make their application for a parental order. The Remedial Order came into force at the start of 2019 and, as there was going to be a large number of single parents who by then would already have had children born following surrogacy arrangement, the Remedial Order gave a six month window within which they could retroactively apply for a parental order. This six month window expires on 2 July 2019 and eligible single parents whose children were born prior to 3 January 2019 will therefore have to submit their applications swiftly in order to comply.

What do single applicants have to do by 2 July 2019?

All intended parents are required to do within the time limit is to have submitted their application for a parental order, which can be done by hand delivering it to the family court. For intended parents acting in person, it may be useful to prepare a covering letter to accompany your application and ask the court staff to date stamp it for you to keep for your records. For those instructing solicitors, they will deal with this for you.

In the event that an intended parent misses the six month time limit and does not lodge their application by 2 July, it is unlikely that this will be an absolute bar to applying for a parental order in the future but it could make their case more complicated. The ability to proceed will depend on the reason for the delay and the circumstances of the case.

Further information

If you have any questions or require advice about making an application for a parental order, either as a single application or as part of a couple, please contact a member of our family team.

You may also be interested in reading more about international surrogacy and the position in the UK HERE. Further information can also be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page about surrogacy and our previous blogs.

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