Whose Name Goes On The Birth Certificate When A Surrogate Is Used?
As Lancaster Family Law Solicitors we assist in a number of Family Law proceedings such as Child Arrangements, Prohibited Steps Order and Parental Rights Orders.
With changes in Law such as Same Sex marriages, and allowing single parents to use surrogacy, reports show that the number of people choosing surrogacy has tripled over the past 10 years. As such as your trusted Family Law specialists we thought we would take the opportunity to explain the legal process when registering a child born through surrogacy in the UK.
When a child is born via surrogacy, under current UK Law, upon their birth the surrogate is listed on the birth certificate as the “mother”, this applies regardless of whether the surrogate eggs where used. A second person (male or female) can be listed on the birth certificate as the “second parent” regardless of whether they are the child’s biological parent. Upon being named on the birth certificate they will have automatic parental responsibility for the child. It is the surrogate’s responsibility to register the child’s birth, however it can be noted that the child can be given the surname of the intended parent(s). The “second parent” must be present when the birth is registered.
If the surrogate is married or in a civil partnership then their partner is classed as the “second parent” and can be named on the birth certificate unless proven that they did not consent to the conception, although this is difficult to prove.
When the child is 6 weeks old the intended parents can apply for a Parental Order through the Family Court, once granted a new birth certificate is issued removing the surrogate’s name and replacing it when the names of the intended parents. Unlike with adoptions where a second birth certificate is used, in surrogacy the new birth certificate completely replaces the original. This permanently extinguishes the “parental rights” of the surrogate mother.
A Parental Order must be applied for otherwise the surrogate will remain the legal parent of the child regardless of whether they are biologically theirs.
The procedure for Parental Order is relatively straightforward and with the increase in use of surrogacy the process is a lot smoother than it previously was.
As Lancaster solicitors we have assisted many parents in completing Parental Responsibly Orders and our expert team can be contacted on 01524 581306 or by completing our online enquiry form – a note of our fees are listed here.
At MG Legal we offer an initial consultation for £75.00 plus VAT for all Family Law matters.