International surrogacy - legal services

We are the UK’s leading surrogacy lawyers, the first to specialise in this area of law, with experience helping over a thousand families and being at the forefront of nearly all the major cases which have shaped UK surrogacy law (including helping the very first UK parents to obtain a parental order after international surrogacy in 2008), as well as dealing with surrogacy arrangements in a wide range of countries including the USA, Canada, Ukraine, Georgia, India, Thailand, Mexico, Cambodia, China, Australia and many more. 

As the only surrogacy lawyers in the UK to offer a comprehensive international surrogacy law service, we are uniquely equipped to help you resolve the UK legal issues and processes if your child is born through surrogacy in a different country.

We usually arrange a fixed fee Legal Review initially with an experienced surrogacy lawyer, during which we typically explain how UK law interacts with the law in the country where your surrogacy takes place, British nationality for your child, and securing your status as legal parents under UK law, all under one roof. Our aim is not just to tell you what UK law says, but to explain what you need to do in practice, and to help you make a clear decision about the support you will need in managing the UK surrogacy law processes.

Contact us to arrange a meeting in person, by Skype/Zoom or telephone. You can fill in our contact form, call us on +44 (0) 20 3701 5915 or email us.

How we help with navigating international surrogacy

From there we can help you to navigate the UK legal processes you need to follow practically and efficiently, including:

  • Legal help and representation in parental order (or other) court applications needed to secure your parenthood status in the UK
  • British nationality and passports for children born through surrogacy outside the UK
  • Help with any issues which arise during the limbo period
  • Specialist surrogacy wills
  • Practical surrogacy support through our sister organisation Brilliant Beginnings

"You were all absolutely brilliant at getting us back home and making this whole process as easy as it could have been for us."

Parental order applications (and other applications) after international surrogacy

You will need to take steps to secure your legal status as the parent of your child born through international surrogacy. The most common legal solution for UK parents is the parental order. Parental order applications after international surrogacy require preparation of detailed evidence and usually take between 4 and 12 months. 

We offer a range of legal services to help, including guidance behind the scenes, support with preparing evidence, a basic legal representation service to help steer you through cost-efficiently, and a premium legal representation service in which we manage the whole process for you.

We also work with parents who are not able to apply for a parental order, finding creative ways of securing your family’s legal status as far as possible or even challenging the law (which we have done successfully for other families in various groundbreaking cases).

Our services are charged on a fixed fee basis wherever possible so you know exactly where you stand.

UK passports and British nationality for children born through surrogacy overseas

If you are crossing borders for surrogacy, you will need a passport and/or other documents to travel with your child after the birth. Find out more about immigration and UK nationality considerations for international surrogacy children.

We can advise you on whether your child will be born British and if not how to make them British. We manage applications for parental orders, British nationality registration and UK passports for children born through international surrogacy, as well as advising on strategic timing to help you bring your baby home as quickly as possible. In 2020 we were instrumental in lobbying the government to introduce a new special emergency passport application process for surrogate children born abroad during the pandemic. We have also advised the Passport Office on its guidance and processes.

As part of our leading specialist expertise in surrogacy we provide British nationality services in respect of children born through surrogacy to British parents.  We usually charge a fixed fee of £3,000 plus VAT for making a British nationality registration application for a child born through surrogacy (where required), which covers our management of the initial application and subsequent correspondence with the Home Office through to conclusion.  Our fee does not include fees charged by the Home Office (currently in the region of £1,000 to £1,500 per child) which we can confirm to you clearly when you instruct us. We work with separate specialist immigration lawyers in more complex cases, for example where children are born through surrogacy to non-British parents, or where adults are applying for British nationality. 

Help with surrogacy issues that arise during the post-birth period

Understanding your legal rights during the post-birth limbo period (the time when you are applying for a parental order) can help you be prepared should issues arise. Difficulties can involve the exercise of parental responsibility, or problems involving doctors or social services. We can help you resolve these issues in the most practical way.

Specialist wills for international surrogacy

We prepare specialist wills for intended parents, to protect you and your child, if there is an unexpected death during the surrogacy process. Wills are needed because your child may not have automatic rights of inheritance from you until your UK parental order is granted. Our long experience means we understand what a surrogacy will needs to say to protect you, as well as dealing with the wider protection of your family.

As experienced surrogacy solicitors, our easy remote service enables you to make or update your wills via telephone, Skype/Zoom and email, for a fixed fee.

We offer legal help with UK surrogacy

We also help families created through UK surrogacy arrangements, and sometimes advise on UK and international surrogacy options together if you have not yet settled on which is the right surrogacy route for you. Find out more about our UK surrogacy work.

Need more than legal advice? Brilliant Beginnings can help

Our sister organisation is a non-profit surrogacy agency which offers practical help in tandem with our legal services if you need it.  If you are at an early stage and researching your options, the Options Review service gives impartial practical advice on all the ways of building your family through surrogacy in the UK and overseas, guiding you on the routes available, pros and cons, risks and costs. For those looking overseas, we offer a US Surrogacy Pathway (including project-management of all aspects of your US surrogacy journey, including the UK legalities) and a Canadian Surrogacy Pathway (which provides the same service for surrogacy in Canada). Learn more about Brilliant Beginnings.

"You have just been absolutely amazing throughout and we feel incredibly lucky to have discovered your companies and thank you so much for setting them up in the first place."

Looking for more information about international surrogacy law?

Our free online Knowledge Centre contains guidance, published articles and access to the law and court forms you may need for:

Contact us to arrange a meeting in person, by Skype/Zoom or telephone. You can fill in our contact form, call us on +44 (0) 20 3701 5915 or email us.