What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is when another woman carries and gives birth to a baby for a couple who
want to have a child.
Full surrogacy involves the implantation of an embryo created using either:
• the eggs and sperm of the intended parents
• a donated egg fertilised with sperm from the intended father
• an embryo created using donor eggs and sperm
Partial surrogacy involves sperm from the intended father and an egg from the
surrogate. Here fertilisation is (usually) done by artificial insemination or intrauterine
Is surrogacy legal in the UK?
Surrogacy is legal in the UK but involves complicated legal issues and legal advice
should be sought before making any decisions. It is important to know that
surrogacy arrangements are unenforceable.
Do surrogates get paid?
You are not allowed to pay for a surrogate in the UK – commercial surrogacy is
illegal. It is also illegal to advertise for a surrogate or to advertise yourself as a
However, the intended parents are responsible for the reasonable expenses of the
surrogate (for example, clothes, travel expenses and loss of earnings).
Extra expense may be incurred should the surrogate have twins or more.
Are same sex couples allowed to have
children using surrogates in the UK?
The law supports same sex couples conceiving through surrogacy in the UK. Gay
dads have successfully conceived through surrogacy sometimes with the help of
friends or relatives, and sometimes with surrogate mothers contacted through one
of the UK’s non profit-making surrogacy agencies. A same sex couple can also apply
to the court to be named on your child’s birth certificate as the parents after your
child is born.
Can same sex couples marry in the UK?
Civil partnerships were introduced in 2005 to give same-sex couples the same legal
rights as married couples, but the law does not allow such unions to be referred to
But the government wants same sex couples to be legally allowed to make vows and
declare they are married before the next general election, due in 2015.
The Home Office’s consultation paper proposes:
• to allow same-sex couples to marry in a register office or other civil ceremony
• to retain civil partnerships for same-sex couples and allow couples already in
• a civil partnership to convert it into a marriage
• to allow people to stay married and legally change their gender
• to maintain the legal ban on same-sex couples marrying in a religious service
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For more information:
British Surrogacy Centre (USA and UK):
Legal advice from the UK’s only firm specializing in fertility and parenting law:
Connect with other alternative families:
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