EP 169: What legal advice do I need when using a donor, a surrogate or adopting?
What you need to know about family law…
My guest Lois Langton is Head of Family Law at Howard Kennedy and she specialises in all aspects of Family Law including divorce, financial remedy, civil partnerships, pre-/post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation, separation and child related work (including adoption and surrogacy).
In this episode Lois and I discuss the different scenarios that you could be considering for your family, including co-parenting, using a donor, a surrogate or adopting and what you need to think about.
Lois talks about why it’s worth looking to work with a surrogate who is single so that the biological sperm donor will then be the second legal parent. When relying on trust – you need the biological and legal connection
Going Abroad for Surrogacy
If you go abroad for surrogacy to a country where jurisdiction is different there is a lot of issues to consider as there are no international laws on surrogacy. Some permit commercial surrogacy, however, there are other countries where it is completely outlawed,England doesn’t permit commercial surrogacy but altruistic and that means you can go from one country to the next without any uniformity of what the process is which can create problems. There could be issues of bringing your baby home.
Because Surrogacy is altruistic in the UK, it means there is no obligation if the surrogate has changed her mind. The surrogate is the legal birth mother and without the consent, there can be no parental orderWhen commissioning parents go abroad and money will be paid, it’s worth realising that the agreements made are at odds with English law, then part of the process you have to get retrospective sanctions from the English court.
We also talked about the importance of ‘Writing Intentions’ which can be very different from the parties involved. For example in a same-sex couple, the biological mother may view the biological father as no more than a sperm donor and he may view himself as having an active role in the child’s life and nobody seems to iron these issues out early on. This can cause years of conflict. This is where a ‘Conception Agreement’ is needed.
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