Using a Surrogate

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"Strong reputation for cutting-edge surrogacy work"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

Our team of Family, Immigration and Private Client lawyers are experienced in advising on all aspects of international and domestic surrogacy arrangements. The team frequently writes and lectures on developments in surrogacy law and hosts seminars for intended parents and other professionals.  

We can help with the legal implications of having a child using a surrogate and take you through the steps required to enable you to acquire full parental rights for your child. This is called making an application for a parental order. As a firm, we have been involved since the first parental order was made in the UK.

In international surrogacy arrangements, we can help you bring your child to the UK as quickly as possible and assist with any immigration, nationality and UK passport applications that need to be made.

Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  For some, that decision is more complex and emotional, for example, if they are not able to conceive or carry a child themselves.

We advise clients who have chosen to have a child using a surrogate, either here or abroad. Our clients come from diverse backgrounds and cultures.  We help same sex and heterosexual couples, both married and unmarried.

As experienced family lawyers, we know the law and the process inside out. We are also acutely aware of the special, emotional and sometimes stressful journey you are embarking on when deciding to have a child using a surrogate.

We can work with you how you want to work with us. That may involve helping you from start to finish or it might involve being available ‘behind the scenes’ only – helping answer occasional questions as they arise and assisting with the more difficult or important parts of the legal process. 

If you have a child using a surrogate, under English law, you and your partner will not be the child’s legal parents.  You therefore need to ask the court to make a parental order which will extinguish the surrogate mother’s (and her husband’s if she is married) parentage and transfer the rights and responsibilities for your child to you.

In international surrogacy arrangements, the child will often have no automatic claim to British nationality, regardless of your nationalities. This can mean that additional steps need to be taken before you can bring your child home.

It is best to take advice as early as possible so that you know what the legal requirements are and what steps you need to take here and in the country in which your child is born.

We can make the parental order application for you and help you throughout the process.

We can talk you through the legal requirements and support you through the important steps such as serving the relevant documentation on the surrogate mother, the court hearings, preparing your statements in support of your application and meeting with the parental order reporter.

For international surrogacy, we will advise you on what nationality and status your child will be entitled to and then work with you to select the best option to bring your child home as quickly as possible.

We are flexible in how we work with you and we will tailor our approach to suit you and your family.  We understand the sensitive nature of the process and work with absolute discretion.

Most of our clients have used a surrogate abroad and therefore need advice regarding both the family and immigration aspects of the arrangement and help in bringing their child back to the UK.  We work closely together as a team to support you with all UK legal aspects of your surrogacy arrangements.

We also work with our private client team who has experience helping intended parents prepare a Will dealing with specific issues raised as part of the surrogacy arrangements. In some countries, this is a requirement in order to proceed with the surrogacy.

We have good relationships with lawyers and advisers in other countries, who we can liaise with for any questions about the law in the country where your child is born.


"It's a team that has a great breadth of experience across the board and particularly in international cases."

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

"I always think of them as having a Rolls-Royce service but they are particularly good when there's a European element to the case."

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

"Very strong litigation practice, with some of the best up-and-coming stars of tomorrow"

Legal 500 UK

"A standout firm"

Legal 500 UK

"Professional yet sympathetic manner and the team always fights hard to defend your interests"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession


If you require further information or advice from our team of specialist family lawyers, please contact a member of our team or call us on +44 (0)20 7814 1200.

"Strong reputation for cutting-edge surrogacy work"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

"They made a very difficult time much easier to deal with. Their professionalism kept me sane and focused on the outcome I needed"


"It's a team that has a great breadth of experience across the board and particularly in international cases"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

"All have been excellent and have shown great diligence and practicality, along with sensitivity during a very difficult time in my life"


"Rolls-Royce service and particularly good when there's a European element to the case"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

"A standout firm"

Legal 500 UK

"Professional yet sympathetic manner and the team always fights hard to defend your interests"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

Using a Surrogate Insights

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National Fertility Awareness Week – facing fertility issues and the strains it can place on relationships

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

A positive start to the New Year: Remedial Order permitting single applicants to apply for Parental Orders now in force

Pressing pause on parenthood – when relationship breakdown affects consent to storage and use of embryos

Pressing pause on parenthood – the importance of understanding the facts about egg and embryo freezing

Surrogacy and Parental Orders for single parents - the ‘non-urgent’ road to change

Surrogacy and Parental Orders – how far does the interpretation of “enduring family relationship” extend?

Reflections on The Split – Episode 3: Behaving badly

International surrogacy - the legal challenges for US nationals bringing a surrogate child to the UK

First cases of mitochondrial donation therapy in the UK and why the “three-parent baby” headlines are misleading

Surrogacy and Parental Orders - welcome news for single applicants

Parenthood and surrogacy developments in France

Regulating Relations – parenthood through assisted reproduction in Australia and abroad

Where there’s a surrogacy arrangement, there’s a Will

Global and modern families not bound by borders – themes from the Culture, Dispute Resolution & the Modernised Family conference

UK surrogacy law - are we finally on the road to reform?

Surrogacy: a gift without price – differences of opinion and a call for reform

The opportunities and pitfalls of surrogacy for same sex couples

IVF clinic mistakes create legal lacuna for children - beware the traps of the UK’s complex legal parenthood rules

Surrogacy wars – where does the balance lie?

International surrogacy developments – what a difference a year makes

The further use of discretion in considering time limits for parental orders

Progress for parents and surrogate children in the UK: Parental order time limit extended

International and UK surrogacy – lessons learnt from the Baby Gammy case and calls for regulation

Surrogacy and parental rights – a setback but light ahead

Surrogacy case update - Judge warns of the legal pitfalls of surrogacy arrangements

The Indian surrogacy debate continues and rules are tightened

International surrogacy laws are not keeping up with changing social patterns

Addressing the challenges of overseas surrogacy

Not yet happily ever after: legalisation of gay marriage is just the beginning

Nationality and immigration pitfalls in international surrogacy

Playing catch up – legal issues arising from the go-ahead for mitochondrial transfers?

EU harmonisation of surrogacy law: a pipe dream?

Routes to parenthood: are more couples choosing international surrogacy over adoption?

Discrimination gone mad? A surrogate mother's plea

Surrogacy: who’s the Mummy?

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