Surrogacy for Gay Couples
Surrogacy is one option for gay couples (or single gay men) to have children. Some couples adopt children whose parents cannot bring them up, others choose to have children who are genetically theirs. Rather than co-parent with a lesbian couple, some opt for surrogacy. Please see the surrogacy pages in the children section of this website for further details on:
- surrogacy in general
- paternity after surrogacy
- parental orders
- international surrogacy and
- more general on legal paternity after sperm donation.
Until 2010 it was not possible for both partners in a gay couple to become the legal parents of their child other than through adoption, which is a complicated and intrusive process and not always available. Since April 2010 gay couples (and unmarried opposite-sex couples and lesbian couples) can regularise their parentage legally through a parental order.
The conditions for a parental order are exactly the same as for any other couple. An application for a parental order has to be made within 6 months from the date of birth of the child. The court can only extend the time limit in special circumstances and you should not wait and rely on this.
As for all couples planning surrogacy, we strongly advise you to get in touch with us as early as possible to avoid arrangements, which can make the legal proceedings later on more difficult and costly. It is best to have an initial consultation before choosing a surrogate and then to prepare the legal process of the parental order application during the pregnancy. Once the child is born, you will have a lot of other things to think about as well.
Please also note that single people, such as single gay men, cannot apply for a parental order and, depending on the circumstances, may have no choice but to share paternity with the surrogate until they can apply for an order to adopt their own child.
For advice on your specific circumstances please contact a solicitor
19 May 2016 by Andrea Woelke