Bishop & Sewell

Not everyone manages or is able to conceive, and they and same sex couples may choose different options to create their family. Issues around forming families can be difficult, but they need not be devastating. We provide constructive and pragmatic advice in a supportive way.

We have a specialist forming families team and can help advise on:

Karma Hickman of the Forming Families team is recommended in Chambers & Partners as an ‘Associate to Watch’ in its 2017 rankings, noting that she “stands out for her ability in complex international surrogacy and partnership cases.” She also provides pro-bono immigration advice at sessions hosted by the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group.

The team also take a presence at relevant industry shows such as The Fertility Show at London Olympia to provide clear and practical advice in a supportive and accessible way. When looking for help with fertility issues, it can be a daunting task and so we aim to help people make informed decisions.

You can also find us listed on the Donor Conception Network’s Lawyers Supporters scheme.

We have a strong track record in achieving the best results for our clients. While every case is unique, all share one common feature – the need for sound advice and careful guidance.

Whatever the issue, there is a solution to help you & your family.

International Issues

Increasingly, commissioning parents are entering into arrangements with surrogates outside the UK. The issues identified above also apply to international surrogacy arrangements but the international element raises many further complications. The primary one is getting the child back into the UK after the birth.

Our International Surrogacy page provides a more detailed list of the issues you need to consider but key concerns include:

  • The nationality;
  • Whether the child needs a visa to enter the UK;
  • Different approaches overseas to the commercialisation of surrogacy – in many countries, payments in addition to expenses are legal and required;
  • The fact that a surrogacy arrangement might be enforceable abroad but not in the UK; and
  • Differences between countries about who is treated as a surrogate child’s legal parents (in the Ukraine and some US States, for example, the commissioning parents are automatically the child’s legal parents).

How We Can Help

  • Advise those considering surrogacy and whether it is suitable;
  • Represent commissioning parents in proceedings for a Parental Order;
  • Advise on your child’s nationality and immigration position under UK law;
  • Assist in bringing your baby back to the UK;
  • Provide written opinions and advice for those living abroad about whether and how UK surrogacy law applies to them, and
  • If a Parental Order is refused or cannot be made, advise on other orders that might be made to recognise the child’s relationship with commissioning parents.

Next Steps

For initial advice or to arrange a meeting with one of our team, please email or contact 020 7631 4141 and ask to speak to our Forming Families team.

Important: Please be aware that Bishop & Sewell is not a Surrogacy Agent nor are we able to facilitate surrogacy arrangements for would-be parents or surrogate mothers.

Forming Families Solicitors