Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach

26 November 2020

Surrogacy: Your questions answered

  • What is surrogacy?
    • Surrogacy is the process whereby a woman carries and gives birth to a baby on behalf of someone else. 

      There are two types of surrogacy:

      Straight/traditional surrogacy – where the surrogate is both the genetic mother as well as the woman who carries and gives birth to the child; and

      Gestational surrogacy – where the surrogate has no genetic affiliation to the child and conception occurs when the embryo planted in her uterus is one created with the egg of another woman (either from the intended mother or a donor egg) and sperm (from the intended father or donor sperm). In this scenario, the embryo is created from the gametes of at least one of the intended parents.

  • Who can enter into a surrogacy arrangement?
    • Heterosexual, same-sex couples and single individuals are eligible to enter into a surrogacy arrangement.

  • Is surrogacy legal in the UK?
    • It is illegal to enter into a commercial surrogacy arrangement, but both altruistic and compensatory arrangements are legal. The advertising and negotiating of a surrogacy arrangement is banned unless undertaken by a not for profit agency.

  • Are surrogacy contracts enforceable in the UK?
    • In England and Wales, surrogacy contracts are not enforceable. 

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This publication is not intended to provide a comprehensive statement of the law and does not constitute legal advice and should not be considered as such. It is intended to highlight some issues current at the date of its preparation. Specific advice should always be taken in order to take account of individual circumstances and no person reading this article is regarded as a client of this firm in respect of any of its contents.

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