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Tuesday, 10 December 2019 10:53

Here’s everything LGBT+ couples who are considering surrogacy need to know

Surrogacy for LGBT+ couples – What you need to know

For those in the LGBT+ community, creating a family is not straightforward. Biology and the law have to both be considered long before a baby is conceived.

Surrogacy is now very much de rigueur, and, in the last five years, the UK has seen an exponential increase in the number of Parental Order applications following surrogate births. My firm is only too aware of this, as we have a vast number of clients from the LGBT+ community choosing to start their families through surrogacy.

The law governing surrogacy dates in part from the 1980s when attitudes towards surrogacy itself, and the LGBT+ community, were vastly different from what they are today. The law reforms announced by the Law Commission and The Scottish Law Commission on 6 June 2019 are therefore very much welcomed by all involved, but particularly by LGBT+ families.

What are the laws now?

As it stands now, when a child is born through a surrogacy arrangement, whether they are born here in the UK, or abroad, if the intended parents wish to live with the child in the UK, then an application must be made in the UK courts for a Parental Order. The Parental Order will then extinguish the legal status of the birth mother (and her spouse if she has one) and confer legal parentage on the intended parents. Without that order, the birth mother will remain legally responsible for that child. The intended parents, who in reality are the only parents the child knows, have no legal standing to make crucial decisions, such as consent to medical procedures for their child, as they have no Parental Responsibility.

It will also change the UK birth certificate to ensure that the intended parents’ details are instead recorded.

In order to be eligible to apply for a Parental Order, at least one of the intended parents must be domiciled in the UK, at least one of the intended parents must have a biological connection to the child, the child must live with the intended parents, they must be over 18, have made the application within 6 months of the child’s birth, have the surrogate’s (and her spouse’s) consent and only reasonable expenses must have been paid to the surrogate. Since January 2019 it is now possible for single people to apply for a Parental Order, but the above criterion must still apply and those separated can utilise recent ground-breaking caselaw, achieved by this firm, that if intended parents are separated an order can still be achieved as ‘living’ together can apply to two homes.

The glaring fault with the Parental Order process is the requirement to have to apply for it in the first place. From the moment of birth, up until that Order is granted, the child, and the intended parents live in limbo. Speak to any surrogate and they will tell you that they want to carry the child to enable other people (often LGBT+ people), who can’t have a child in the usual way, to have a family. They do not want to be legally responsible for that child, yet the law keeps them entwined despite (usually) no biological connection and no intention to be so responsible. The surrogate bears the child for the intended parents on trust that they will make that application for a Parental Order which will then extinguish her legal responsibilities.

As for the intended parents, until that Order is made, they are, in the eyes of the law, not legally related to their child. Yet in reality they wanted the child, they love the child and they care for the child. Why should that child, and the intended parents, be in that limbo position? It leaves many risks, that Wills and insurances can mitigate, but the uncertainty of 100% protection during this period is difficult for all the parties.

The Law Commission and The Scottish Law Commission have recognised this failure and have committed to reforming the law. The consultation into surrogacy law is currently open until September 2019 and their proposals include a new pathway to parenthood which would recognise the intended parents as the legal parents from birth. With the new pathway, the ‘work’ would be done pre-conception. This would include finding the surrogate, medical checks, enhanced criminal records checks, independent legal advice and implications counselling for all parties, then a written surrogacy agreement and an assessment of the welfare of the child. Once the child is born, the intended parents will be the legal parents (without the need to make a court application) subject to the birth mother objecting within a defined period. If the surrogate does object, then the intended parents would need to make an application for a Parental Order in the usual way.

However, this new pathway would not be applicable to international surrogacy arrangements. Instead, the proposal is that recognition would be on a “country by country” basis and that there should be a streamlining and shortening of the process of obtaining a passport or a visa for the child born overseas so that that process begins before birth.

These proposed reforms to the current surrogacy legislation have been welcomed by the LGBT+ community as well as by the community of surrogates. The proposed reforms will enable the law to reflect the reality of these new families and ensure that the child is legally protected and cared for by their intended parents from the moment of birth.

Karen Holden, Founder at A City Law Firm

From TheGayuk

Learn More About International Surrogacy In Ukraine:

Delivering Dreams helps couples throughout the world struggling with infertility have children. Located in NJ and Kyiv and Lviv, Ukraine, our amazing medical facilities and professionals, surrogates and donors are in Ukraine, because Ukrainian law protects the rights of parents and their children from inception at affordable costs and high success rates.

Unique to Delivering Dreams, we offer guaranteed not to exceed, all-inclusive pricing and contracts under US law to provide prospective parents legal and financial security.

1 in 6 couples are struggling with infertility. You are not alone. We want to be your path to parenthood.

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The communication with surrogate is easy and better than what we expected. The updates are provided as scheduled with occasional surprises
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We were confident before in our choice, but this experience has confirmed beyond any doubt that we choose the best agency.
I loved working with Susan and her team and highly recommend them to anyone considering her services. She's is great at every aspect of a process and knows how to handle delicate matters.
Diana Lyakhovetska
Susan truly understands the needs of parents using surrogacy, and offers comprehensive emotional support to parents as they experience the journey!
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The team at Delivering Dreams is amazing! Their attention to detail and ability to put your mind at ease while growing your family is like none other. They handled everything for us, and I never once doubted they would help us accomplish our dreams.
Margaret Jones
I’ve known Susan for several years now, and I’ve always been impressed by her attention to her clients’ needs. I’ve known her to work ardently and diligently to solve whatever challenges, no matter how unique, that prevent her clients from completing their families. She is a problem-solver, and she earnestly believes in providing the best options and in making surrogacy opportunities realities: this is not merely a business for Susan. She will help customize the process for your needs and to ...
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Mary Woods
Susan has a keen sense of business and goes to the max to solve her clients’ problems. She is super knowledgeable on business, laws and how things work in surrogacy in general, and specifically on Ukrainian surrogacy. She is an advocate for transparency in a market that’s often opaque and full of hidden risks. I really enjoyed working with Susan. She really pays attention to detail and was always looking out for my best interest above all. Highly recommend!
Laurie Tham
Delivering Dreams goes above and beyond what other surrogacy agencies offer. After speaking with Susan, I see how they anticipate every part of the process, down to details that I had never even considered. I didn’t know what I didn’t know! Surrogacy can be really complicated and confusing. What an amazing sense of relief to have a company so dedicated to managing the WHOLE process and taking away as much of the stress as possible.
Kate Varness
I have gotten to know Susan through a group where we are members. I have found her to be a genuine and caring person. Her consideration for others and love of her work with Ukrainian surrogates and parents-to-be are evident in all her decision making. She is passionate about being a force for the greater good and helping where she can. I have been amazed at the way she is able to smoothly navigate the complicated maze of requirements in the surrogacy process. I am happy to give her my highest...
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Rose Anne Barbour Huck
Susan Kibler is kind.  She clearly loves those she works with and loves what she does.  Susan listens deeply and compassionately and can make you laugh all in the space of one conversation.  She is wonderful!  If you are feeling worried, she'll hear you.  If you have questions, she will find answers for you. If you need help, she does her very best to support you.  I feel so fortunate to have found her and imagine you will too.
Frances Russell
Susan has the ability to really connect on a personal level quickly.  I have found her easy to talk to and have been so grateful for her guidance.  She is one of those people who offers so much to her clients.  She sees the big picture and has a heart for the most intimate concerns.  She is highly skilled and able to manage what can certainly be challenging and uncomfortable experiences, making them feel easier.  She will take charge at the perfect times and guide you when you really need her...
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Susan Seare
The international surrogacy world is complicated. Susan Kibler knows its ins-and-outs. She knows the people and outfits you can trust and the ones to avoid. She insists on the best for her clients and handles the details so they don't have to worry about them. If you want to take the international surrogacy journey, you can trust Delivering Dreams International Surrogacy Agency to guide you on that path.
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My friend and I had a positive experience working with Susan. Susan is always super responsive and caring. She is very professional, helpful and reliable. My friend has soo much troubles trying having a baby for many years. My friend and her husband were about to give up their dream of having a baby. Susan Kersch Kibler found the way to help. She has unlimited energy, attentive to detail and super efficient. Great to work with!
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Susan is passionate about helping people become families. She is a trustworthy confidant to have on your side.
Kristen Ancker
Our experience with Delivering Dreams has been overwhelmingly positive. The team seems to be genuinely dedicated to helping us to realize our dream of having a child. The constant communication leading up to the trip and the numerous touch points made us feel comforted in what has been a very challenging and uncomfortable situation. We always had streamlined communication through the group chat and was frequently checked on during our stay.

Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.


Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.