I’ve had a child via assisted reproduction and I need legal advice

If you have had a child via assisted reproduction, it may still be necessary to take legal steps to ensure that your rights are protected. You may need to apply for a parental order for a surrogate child, or to secure the rights of your child to come and live in the UK. You may also need advice about your child’s relationship to your spouse or partner, or if some dispute or complication has arisen during the reproduction process.

Whatever issue you are facing, prompt and comprehensive advice will help your situation. Assisted reproduction can lead to a range of complex issues, spanning fertility law and more traditional family law subjects. Whether your issue is with a donor, a clinic, or somebody else, we can help.

As a top family law firm, incorporating world-leading expertise in fertility and family law, Vardags can help you steer you through any legal issues arising in assisted reproduction.

We have helped a range of couples and individuals in all manner of circumstances, providing advice and representation following the birth of a child. We are known for our ground-breaking approach to the law, and are not afraid to push the law forward. We will help you in whatever assisted reproduction related dispute you find yourself in, helping you to secure the best future for yourself and your family.

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

How can Vardags help?

Under UK Surrogacy law, legal parenthood and parental responsibility for a surrogate born child initially fall on to the surrogate and her spouse. As an intended parent, you must therefore apply for a parental order to reassign this legal status from the surrogate and her spouse to yourself and to extinguish all of the legal status of the surrogate and spouse. This is the bespoke legal solution for surrogacy in the UK.

Vardags can provide you with expert legal advice on the significance and legal effect of a parental order, the legal criteria and process for a parental order in the English Family Court, and complex parental order proceedings in the English high Court. This includes cases with an international element, commercial payments, issues with the legal status and/or consent of the surrogate (and spouse), involving breakdown of the intended parents’ relationship, complex disputes over the care and upbringing of a surrogate born child, novel issues of law or policy, and alternative applications for parenthood where the intended parent(s) are ineligible for a parental order.

Surrogacy raises complex questions about British nationality and immigration law including:

  • Will my surrogate born child be born British?
  • What’s the route for bringing my surrogate born child home to the UK?
  • How long will I have to spend abroad with my baby following an overseas surrogacy arrangement?

UK immigration law applies to those who are resident in the UK, regardless of whether they are British citizens, EEA nationals or permanently resident in the UK. There are various ways a surrogate born child can obtain British nationality and a British passport to include: by birth, by descent, registration as a British citizen, upon the grant of a parental order in certain circumstances.

The English Family Court consistently advises intended parents to obtain specialist legal advice at the outset of their surrogacy journey. Vardags can provide specialist, sensitive and tailored legal advice on all surrogacy issues, including how to manage surrogacy law in the UK and its international application, how to bring your surrogate-born child safely into the UK, how to acquire legal parenthood and the process for a parental order.

There are no international agreements governing surrogacy arrangements. This creates international conflicts of law and a legal patchwork effect around the world which can be compounded when intended parents and families formed through surrogacy have an international lifestyle or multi-jurisdictional aspects to their personal and/or professional situations.

English law applies its own law on surrogacy and does not automatically recognize foreign parentage orders or foreign birth certificates naming intended parents as the parents of their surrogate born children. This can make a surrogate born child ‘stateless and parentless’ without recognised legal parents and status in a country.

In the absence of specialist legal advice, parents, children and families created through surrogacy can lack legal protection and security in the UK and internationally. We can provide effective, specialist, and tailored legal advice on international surrogacy law, acquisition of legal parenthood and parental responsibility for a surrogate-born child, applying for a parental order in the English Family Court, and other complex family law issues.

Contact Vardags

01223 855237
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1 Saint Mary’s Passage, Cambridge

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01865 598 1429
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Clarendon House, 52 Cornmarket Street, Oxford

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01962 657268
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1 St James’ Terrace, Winchester
SO22 4PP

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