EP 130: Understanding Family Law , explained by Rose-Marie Drury
I wanted to give you a really clear overview of some of the issues affecting Intended Parents (IP’s). This episode is UK focused as I was talking to a British Lawyer about UK law, however there will still be issues discussed that are relevant to you wherever you are.
Sadly in the UK we are still waiting for reforms in the laws around parental orders, which any Intended Parent has to apply for within six months of a child being born.
Unfortunately, the current law means that unless you are married or in a civil partnership, this isn’t possible which is causing all sorts of ‘limbo periods’ for IP’s
I spoke to Rose-Marie Drury, a family lawyer at Mills & Reeve in Manchester Rose specialises in helping people understand their legal rights, if they are considering having a child through surrogacy, using donor sperm or through a co-parenting arrangement
We spoke about surrogacy agreements and how in the UK, they aren’t legally biding, they can’t be legally enforced, also lawyers can’t charge to draft them.
Rose explained the importance of highlighting to all parties what going into the process means, what might issues might come up and then people can go and have those discussions… and come up with an agreement themselves.
There are a number of scenarios to be thought through, which we spoke about. Including the implications of using a sperm donor at home. If you’r not married or in a civil partnership you’re partner won’t be the legal parent, the sperm donor will be.
We also talked about the significance of being married or in a civil part when going through this process, as that will ensure both of you are the legal parents, otherwise the child can be adopted. However the parental order rewrites the birth certificate . Children who are adopted are on the adoption register.
We also spoke about ‘Carpark handovers’ and Rose explained how the Department of Health have now devised guidelines for IP’s and medical professionals and midwives, saying carpark handovers aren’t appropriate – thank goodness for that!!
Her advice however is still to make sure you get your hospital and midwife team on board with the arrangements as with IP’s being at the birth and being involved a lot of perceptions are being kicked into changing.
We discussed the legalities of Surrogacy in the UK and how it varies around the world.
Do also have a listen to my chat with Donor Concierge
If you are using a known sperm donor there needs to be a discussion about what everyone’s intending especially as it may be a family member, close friend, they may need to know the child.
Rose spoke of situations where people haven’t talked about it and they’ve have then fallen out because the sperm donor has thought they are going to play more of a role in the chills life. Sperm donors can make applications to court to spend time with the child.
There are donor agreement and co parenting agreement and setting out what everyone intends and lawyers can be involved in drafting those.
For more information about Rose-Marie and her practice visit here
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