Forming Families – International Surrogacy


In surrogacy cases, the child will automatically be British only if the surrogate mother is unmarried, the intended father is genetically related to the child and the father is permitted to pass on British nationality. In these cases, the parents need merely apply for a passport.

However, this is the only ‘straightforward’ way to bring home a surrogate-born baby. In other situations, a host of factors will determine the course of action the couple need to take, including:

  • Marital status of surrogate mother;
  • Genetic relationship of intended father/mother to child;
  • UK immigration status of intended couple i.e. are one or both British citizens/permanent residents? If not, what type of UK visa they hold;
  • Can the baby acquire citizenship in its birth country;
  • Legal status of surrogacy in the birth country;
  • Likelihood of a Parental Order being granted in the UK;
  • Has a Court recognised the intended parents as the baby’s legal parents;
  • Whether intended parents are in a same-sex or heterosexual union;
  • Domicile and financial status of intended parents;
  • Does the baby live with intended parents.

It is worth bearing in mind that in a very worst-case scenario, the baby may not be eligible for British citizenship or the citizenship of its birth country. Without a passport of any kind, there is the risk of the baby being stranded abroad.

This means that advance planning is absolutely essential in cases where your baby is born abroad. There are numerous variables and no two cases are the same. You can find a general guide to the three main routes of bringing your baby back to the UK in the following blog ‘International Surrogacy and how to bring baby back to the UK’.

How can we help?

  • Advise those considering surrogacy in different countries on general nationality and immigration issues;
  • Advise on specific immigration and nationality issues relating to particular countries;
  • Help you apply for British citizenship for your baby;
  • Help you apply for a British passport for your child;
  • Advise and guide you through the UK application process if your baby needs a visa to come to the UK;
  • Prepare and represent you at an appeal if your child’s visa application has been refused.

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    Sex, love and financial issues usually top the concerns of couples planning a baby but for those who turn to surrogacy after years of trying to conceive, the focus quickly switches to legal problems. Even so, it is usually only months into the process that the unglamorous topic of immigration and nationality law rears its… Read more »

Who to contact


For more information the following lawyers will be able to help with Forming Families – International Surrogacy.

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Karma Hickman
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