Adoption & surrogacy solicitors

Deciding to start a family is an exciting time. Our experienced adoption and surrogacy solicitors can talk you through your options and help you make the right decisions as you start your journey to parenthood.

The adoption process

If you plan to adopt a child, you need to be aware of the criteria required by UK adoption agencies and the laws for adoption before you begin.

Our team of adoption specialists can talk you through what you need to do to meet adoption requirements. We will advise you at every stage of the process – making sure you understand and feel able to make an informed decision.

Our specialists can advise you on:

  • Single parent adoption
  • Stepparent adoption
  • International adoption

The surrogacy process

Surrogacy is increasingly popular in the UK and is legal as long as it can’t be considered to be a commercial transaction. For example, advertising for surrogates and commercially arranged surrogacy (such as using an agent to arrange the surrogacy for you) is not allowed. This can make finding a surrogate difficult, although there are voluntary organisations that can help.

If you are going to have a child via a surrogate, there are a range of conditions that have to be met in order to obtain a Parental Order from the Court.

Given the strict rules relating to surrogacy in the UK many couples chose to consider international surrogacy with perspective parents traveling most often to the United States or India. If you are returning to the UK with your child then you will still need to acquire a Parental Order on your return, and possibly permission to bring your child into the UK.

What is Parental Responsibility?

Parental responsibility (PR) means the legal rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority a parent has for a child and the child’s property. A person who has parental responsibility for a child has the right to make decisions about their care and upbringing. A mother automatically has parental responsibility for her child from birth and this includes a surrogate.

In this instance, parents using a surrogate will need to apply for parental responsibility as they won’t automatically have it.

We will talk you through what you need to do to obtain a parental order in a clear and transparent way. We will advise you at every stage of the process – making sure you understand the process and, importantly, your rights.

We provide support and advice on:

  • Surrogacy legal planning
  • Acquiring parental rights – Parental Orders
  • International surrogacy
  • Surrogacy disputes

We know how important this is to you. We have successfully dealt with many cases of adoption and surrogacy over the years, and have the experience and expertise to help you start your family.

Next steps: get in touch

Whether you are just beginning to think about starting a family or struggling to negotiate the legal process, contact our surrogacy solicitors on: 0800 533 5349 or

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Frequently asked questions

The surrogate who has given birth is automatically regarded as the child’s legal parent, even if they are not genetically related. The intended parent(s) of the child can change who is regarded as the legal parents by obtaining a Parental Order. This will ensure that the parental rights are transferred from the surrogate to the intended parent(s).

Yes. A surrogate can change her mind and refuse to give up the baby. Cases are rare, but they can happen. If this does happen the intended couple will need to apply to the Family Court for a Child Arrangements Order. However, one of the conditions for this is that the surrogate must give her consent. If the surrogate does not consent, the Court may still award custody of the child to the intended parents, but cannot make them the legal parents.

A surrogacy agreement includes details of your particular surrogacy arrangement. Although it’s not legally binding, it will show the clear intentions of all involved.

While a surrogacy agreement is not legally binding, it is still useful to have one. Putting a surrogacy agreement in place gives the parties involved the chance to sit together and talk through the practicalities of the surrogacy. Should there be any problems in the future, the agreement will show the clear intentions of both parties at the time of arrangement. This will be useful if the surrogate later changes her mind.

Yes, single parents can adopt. As long as you are over the age of 21 it doesn’t make a difference whether you’re single, married or in a civil partnership, in a same-sex couple or the partner of the child’s parent.

According to the government’s website, the process of adopting a child in the UK normally takes around six months, but there are no guarantees. The wait time can be even longer to adopt a child through international adoptions.

Adopters need to be over 21 but there is no upper age limit. Agencies will expect you to have the health and vitality to see your children through to an age of independence.

In the UK, the best option for finding a surrogate is to use a non-profit surrogacy organisation or agency. The main three in the UK are Brilliant Beginnings, COTS and Surrogacy UK.

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