Is surrogacy legal?

Altruistic surrogacy is legal in the UK.  The present law states:-

  • IPs and surrogates must be domiciled in the UK.
  • IPs can be single, married or in a long term relationship.
  • No payment other than reasonable expenses must have changed hands.

The surrogate is classed as the “birth mother” in the eyes of the law, so a parental order must be applied for after the birth of the child, so that the IPs are recognised legally as the child’s parents.

Can I be paid for being a surrogate?

Commercial surrogacy is not allowed in the UK.  Surrogates must only receive reasonable expenses for carrying a child through surrogacy.

What is classed as reasonable expenses?

Reasonable expenses differ from surrogate to surrogate, depending on her personal circumstances such as number of children, salary and distance from IPs.  Expenses can include a range of things that the surrogate would not have had to pay for if she were not pregnant with a surrogate child e.g. loss of earnings, childcare, maternity clothes, mileage, loss of partner earnings, help around the house, convenience food, vitamins, complimentary therapies.

How much does surrogacy cost?

Surrogacy costs can differ greatly depending on a number of different factors.

Host surrogacy incurs costs from the clinics which can range from £3-7k per cycle.

Surrogates expenses can range from £7-15k.  There is no legal limit to how little or how much a surrogates expenses can be, however expenses are checked by the court when applying for a parental order.

It is recommended that IPs budget at least £20k for traditional surrogacy and £30k for host surrogacy.

Can I undertake surrogacy abroad?

International surrogacy is a viable option for those looking at surrogacy.  However cost and legalities differ depending on which country you choose.  It is recommended that specialist advice be sought before committing to international surrogacy from Brilliant Beginnings and Natalie Gamble Associates.

Do I need a surrogate?

Surrogacy is available to those who are unable to carry their own child.  It is recommended that all options to carry yourself have been exhausted, and that you aren’t looking to complete your family in other ways (e.g. own IVF or adoption).

Surrogacy is available to same sex couples.

It is no longer a legal requirement that you are unable to carry yourself medically – it can be a choice.

How do I find a surrogate?

It is illegal to advertise for a surrogate in the UK so care must be taken when looking for a surrogate.

You can either join an organisation where your details will be made available to surrogates who are looking for intended parents, or join an independent group and make connections informally with surrogates.