You can bring your surrogate child to the UK either by applying for British passport / nationality or by applying for an appropriate UK visa to join you in the UK.
Our specialist immigration solicitors can help you bring your surrogate child to the UK if your surrogate gives birth to your surrogate child outside the UK. Contact our specialist immigration solicitors in London for expert legal advice and representations concerning your surrogate child’s application to join you in the UK. Ask a question to our immigration solicitors for free immigration advice or submit an online request to schedule an appointment for detailed legal advice concerning your surrogate child’s application to join you in the UK.
If you use a surrogate, they will be the child’s legal parent at birth. If the surrogate is married or in a civil partnership, their spouse or civil partner will be the child’s second parent at birth, unless they did not give their permission.
Legal parenthood can be transferred by parental order or adoption after the child is born. If there is disagreement about who the child’s legal parents should be, the courts will make a decision based on the best interests of the child.
The intended parents and surrogate can record how they want the arrangement to work in a surrogacy agreement. Surrogacy agreements are not enforceable by UK law, even if you have a signed document with your surrogate and have paid their expenses. However, the surrogacy agreement may be enforceable by the law of the country in which the child is born and whose legal jurisdiction is provided for in the agreement to resolve any disputes arising from the agreement.
A sperm donor could be the legal parent of a surrogate child born from the donation of sperm. If a sperm donor donates sperm through a Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) licensed clinic, they will not:
A sperm donor who uses an unlicensed clinic to donate sperm will be the legal father of any child born from donation of sperm under UK law.
If you give birth to a surrogate child, you’re always considered the legal mother in UK law even when using a donated egg.
You must apply for a parental order or adoption if you want to become the legal parent of the child. You can apply for a parental order with a partner or on your own. One of you must be genetically related to the child – in other words, be the egg or sperm donor.
You must be one of the following:
You must also:
You must apply within 6 months of the child’s birth.
You must be genetically related to the child – in other words, be the egg or sperm donor.
You must also:
From 4 July 2019 you must apply within 6 months of the child’s birth.
If neither you nor your partner are related to the child, adoption is the only way you can become the child’s legal parent.
If your surrogate gives birth abroad, you can only apply for a parental order if you and your partner are living in the UK. If the child is not a UK or EU national, they will need a visa to enter the UK during this process. Using a surrogate abroad can be complicated because different countries have different rules. You may want to get legal advice or contact The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for more information.
Once your child is born, you will need to become the child’s legal parent. More information on how to do this can be found online Surrogacy: legal rights of parents and surrogates.
A Parental Order can only be made by the court in England and Wales after the child has reached the UK. Pursuant to 54 and 54A of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, at least one of the intended parents (or the intended parent in the case of single applicants) must be domiciled in the UK or the Chanel islands or the Isle of Man, and the child must be living with the intended parent or parents in the UK at the time of the Parental Order application. Further, Parental Orders may only be granted where at least one parent has a genetic link to the child. There are various other conditions that need to be met.
The process is different if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. More information is contained in the guidance: Surrogacy: legal rights of parents and surrogates.
You should seek independent legal advice to confirm that the child in entitled to enter and remain within the UK. In many instances this entitlement will be linked to the status of the intended parents.
If the child is entitled to British Citizenship, the most straightforward route may be to apply for a UK passport from overseas. Please see the section below for further guidance on the passport application process. In many instances, the complex nature of surrogacy will mean that an application for a UK passport will also be complex as a result of which the processing time of the British passport application may be longer than the standard service standard for British passport application from overseas.
You will need to provide a number of documents in support of your application for a British passport for your child or children. Our specialist team of immigration lawyers can help you with this application. You will need to provide:
If the child is not entitled to a UK passport, then the child may be eligible to be registered as a BritishCitizen. Our specialist team of lawyers for British Citizenship can provide expert legal advice and representations in relation to your child’s application for registration as a British Citizen.
If the child is not entitled to a UK passport or to be registered as a British Citizen, then your child may be entilted to an appropriate UK visa to join you in the UK. If both parents are settled in the UK, the child can apply for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE). If one of both of the parents have limited leave to remain in the UK, the child can apply for entry clearance for limited leave to enter to join the parents in the UK.
Our specialist team of UK visa solicitors and lawyers can provide the required legal advice and representations in relation to your child’s application for UK visa to join you in the UK.
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