Whether there is any truth in the rumours remains to be seen, but for many people who are struggling to have children, what Kim and Kanye may be going through, will be familiar.
Laws regarding surrogacy, the practice of one woman carrying another woman’s child, with the intention of handing the child over at birth, differ throughout the world. What may be legal or enforceable in one country, may be illegal in another.
Let’s take a look at some of the key issues surrounding surrogacy in England.
In England, whoever gives birth to a child is treated as the biological mother, whether this is the case or not.
In essence, there are two types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational.
In traditional (also known as straight) surrogacy, the baby is conceived using the surrogate’s egg and the intended father’s sperm.
Gestational surrogacy (also known as host) uses the intended mother’s egg (or donor ones) and the intended father’s sperm. This means that the surrogate mother is not genetically related to the baby. This type of surrogacy is much more expensive than traditional surrogacy, because IVF must be used.
Despite which method is used, It’s important to understand that, under UK law, the woman who gives birth to the child is the mother. This means that they may be able to keep the child, even if they are not genetically related.
Surrogacy agreements in England are not enforceable, so surrogates can (and sometimes do) decide to keep the baby after birth. They have the legal right to do this because they are the child’s mother in the eyes of the law.
If the intended father is the biological father, he could potentially challenge the (surrogate) mother’s care. However, this may be a time-consuming and emotionally stressful court battle.
This is not the case in every country. In some places, you can make enforceable legal contracts with surrogates.
However, before you decide to go abroad, it is essential to get legal advice about the country you are considering going to, to undertake the surrogacy process. Failure to do so, could result in a lot of heartache further down the line.
Some people argue that our laws on surrogacy, in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 and the Surrogacy Act 1985, are outdated and need to be changed. As part of its 13th Programme of Law Reform, as one of the areas that may require reform.
The reality of surrogacy is that it can be an emotionally charged minefield. It’s essential, that if you are considering surrogacy as an option to start, or to grow, your family, to get legal advice from our expert surrogacy solicitors, so that you can fully understand your options and be prepared for the potential hurdles you could face during the process.
For more information on this subject please by our expert surrogacy solicitors, visit our Legal Library.
For more information on the surrogacy process call our expert surrogacy solicitors team on 0845 862 5001 or email email@example.com.
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