In our Ask The Legal Expert column, Jill Bulteel, Director and Head of Family at JCP Solicitors, who is based in Caerphilly, shares advice on surrogacy.
I’m in an established relationship as a same-sex couple and we are keen to start a family. My sister has offered to be a surrogate. What do we need to know?
Surrogacy has been in the news recently, since the actress Priyanka Chopra and her husband Nick Jonas, welcomed a baby into their lives.
Your surrogate must be 18 or over, and must freely, with full understanding of what is involved, agree unconditionally to carry the surrogate child. The surrogate is considered to be the legal mother and, if your sister is in a heterosexual marriage or civil partnership, her spouse is considered the legal father. If your sister in a same sex marriage or civil partnership, her spouse would be considered the other parent, unless it can be proven that she (the spouse) did not consent.
You should seek a Parental Order application not before six weeks but within six months of the birth to start the legal process of transferring parental rights to you and your partner. The surrogate mother would have to confirm that she gives up parental responsibility and custody.
Surrogacy is legal in the UK but it is illegal to advertise for a surrogate, or to give or receive money as part of the process. This is a complex life choice, so is it is vital that you seek specialist legal advice. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or: 02920 855261
The question posed is based upon a hypothetical situation. This content does not constitute legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only.