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Single parents may soon be able to enter surrogacy arrangements

At present, it is the law that only a couple can apply for a Parental Order and thus become the “legal parents” of a child following a surrogacy arrangement. Only with Parental Orders will they have the legal status of natural parents.

Last year, however, a single man fathered a child with a surrogate mother, and then successfully argued that the present law discriminates against single parents. Sir James Munby, an English Family Court Judge, declared that the present law is incompatible with the Human Rights Act.

There is now a case in England where a single woman seeks a Parental Order in relation to a child born to a surrogate mother. That surrogacy arrangement was made when the woman was in a relationship with a man, which subsequently broke down, and the couple separated. Judge Keehan, also an English Family Court Judge, decided that an application by this woman for a Parental Order would be set aside until the law changed to allow single parents to make lawful surrogacy arrangements.

Such a change in the law now seems inevitable, opening the door to single parents to enter surrogacy arrangements.

It is essential to obtain expert legal advice if you are considering a surrogacy arrangement. Morisons’ family law team can provide specialist advice in this regard and for more information, you can contact Alasdair Docwra.

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