Ukraine surrogates and their families to be given special visas to come to the UK

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, has written to NGA Law to confirm that surrogates in Ukraine who are pregnant for British families (and their immediate families) will be eligible for special visas to come to the UK for 3 years. Our team is now processing the very first visa applications for pregnant surrogates and their dependents who want to come to the UK, and we can see what a lifeline this is for these women and their families.

We are supporting British families with free emergency legal support

This is part of the free emergency legal support we are giving to British families expecting babies through surrogacy in Ukraine.  We are currently supporting 31 British families, as well as coordinating with government representatives in the Home Office and Foreign Office and giving help with emergency British passports for babies once born.

The decision in relation to visas for surrogates and their families followed a letter Natalie Gamble and immigration lawyer Barry O’Leary wrote to the Home Secretary on 3 March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  We are enormously grateful for the assistance given by various MPs (including Theresa May, Yvette Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn, Andrew Percy from the APPG on Surrogacy, Ruth Cabdury and Kevin Brennan, who raised a Parliamentary question in the House of Commons last week) for raising this very particular and acute issue.  We also spoke to the Times, Guardian and ITV News. 

Natalie has also been in direct correspondence with the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who has also written to Natalie to assure the Ukraine surrogacy parents’ group that the FCDO will continue to give all the support it can on the ground.

Ukraine is a popular destination for surrogacy given the outdated laws in the UK and the shortage of UK surrogates.  It is one of the few countries around the world which has a legal framework which recognises the intended parents as the legal parents of their children from birth, and a place intended parents look to if they are unable to carry a child (often following years of failed IVF, baby loss, cancer or other difficult journeys).  In normal times, we know that the UK family court makes around 40 parental orders (the UK court orders which confirm parenthood in surrogacy cases) each year in Ukraine surrogacy cases. 

The parents we are working with all conceived their long-wanted children before the war in Ukraine, and are heartbroken and distressed about what has happened in Ukraine, as well as desperately worried about the prospect of their babies being born, and their surrogates being pregnant and unsupported, in a warzone.  We will continue to do all we can to support them all, and won’t stop until we have got everyone to safety.

Need support?

If you need support with Ukraine surrogacy or information on helping get a surrogate to the UK, please get in touch.

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