UK Citizens and Surrogacy – Another Reminder

Surrogacy – The High Court in England could deny parental rights to couples who pay disproportionate fees to surrogates abroad. The Court sees the payment of fees as high as £30,000 as flouting the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 1990 which only allows payment for “expenses reasonably incurred” including compensation for time off work, medical bills and living expenses.

Due to the strict controls over surrogacy in the U.K. many couples turn to surrogates abroad in order to have a child. However, by doing this they run the risk of having no parental rights under English law, says surrogacy lawyer, John Randle.

While Justices have been generous in the past, allowing parental orders to issue even while noting that “the court should be astute not to be involved in anything that looks like the simple payment for [in effect] buying children.” All it would take is for one parental order to be denied because of too high of a payment to turn everything upside down. Especially since there is expected to be a rise in applications for parental orders now that unmarried and same sex couples are allowed to apply for them.

Should parental rights be denied in cases where more than “expenses reasonably incurred” have been paid to a surrogate abroad? What would you consider to be too high of a payment to a surrogate that would in effect be buying a child?

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