The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has very recently launched new online guidance for people considering international surrogacy.
The guidance provides practical information and support to those who are thinking about going overseas for surrogacy. There are three parts to the guidance to provide those considering an international surrogacy journey, with a full overview of what they might need to be aware of at the outset.
The first guide summarises the key issues intended parents should consider when planning an international surrogacy journey. The second focuses on planning for travel and the birth, including what might happen if there is a dispute between the intended parents and surrogate. Finally, the third guide sets out practical information about returning to the UK once the baby has been born. This final part also provides a summary of the British nationality position for the child born through surrogacy, and the various routes intended parents might need to follow to ensure the child’s status in this jurisdiction is secure.
There is also a further piece of guidance which is addressed to foreign surrogacy agencies to inform them about the surrogacy laws in the UK. This is a particularly helpful document, as international agencies, particularly in newer surrogacy destinations such as Mexico, Colombia and Greece, can be misinformed about the requirements for UK intended parents. This can cause difficulties, and so it is hoped that this may smooth the path for intended parents who will be able to point their agency to this document if there is any confusion during their surrogacy journey.
Bethan Carr, one of our experienced surrogacy solicitors says: “I am so pleased to see the release of this guidance. Clients often say to me how international surrogacy can feel like a minefield, with very little having been available previously in terms of government guidance. With the number of people exploring the possibility of starting or expanding their family through surrogacy increasing every year, many of whom are considering their overseas options, this guidance is much needed."
She added: "It will also hopefully ensure that surrogacy feels more accessible to those in the UK who might consider using a surrogate if they cannot conceive a child themselves. Moreover, intended parents will be encouraged and comforted to see further acknowledgement that surrogacy, including international surrogacy, is now an accepted form of family building in this country.”
If you are considering an international surrogacy journey, and have questions about your individual circumstances having read the guidance documents, you can contact Bethan and our experienced surrogacy team here.