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Should red tape construct a barrier to parenthood?

17th August 2017

In surrogacy arrangements a surrogate mother bears a child for a couple, using the gametes of at least one of that couple. To achieve legal status of natural parents, the couple require to apply to Court for Parental Orders.  Amongst other conditions, the Application must be made no earlier than six weeks, and no later than six months, after the date of birth.

Where a man is infertile, a family may be created if his female partner gives birth following sperm donor treatment at a fertility clinic.  In order for the infertile male partner to have the legal status of a parent, certain forms require to be completed at the clinic regarding the parentage of the child.

Recent English cases have shown Judges pragmatically correcting situations where, for surrogacy, time limits or other conditions have not been adhered to, and, in sperm donor treatment, forms have been lost or incorrectly completed, through no fault of the intended parents. Formal or procedural faults have, accordingly, been set aside in order that applicants can be granted the legal status of natural parents as this is in the best interests of the child.  Such decisions have proved to be persuasive when argued in similar situations in Scotland. This is a very welcome and child-centric development in both legal systems.

However, it is essential to obtain expert legal advice early on to avoid any difficulties arising.

MorisonsLLP can provide specialist advice in this regard and for more information, you can contact: 

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Divorce & Family Law Specialist Scotland- Alasdair Docwra