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The Dangers of DIY Surrogacy Arrangements

Many news outlets have reported on the outcome of DIY surrogacy arrangements gone wrong, and warned of the dangers of informal surrogacy.

The couple used the husband's sperm to inseminate a family friend at home, without the assistance of a registered clinic or surrogacy agreement. They then failed to apply for a parental order within the strict time limits and subsequently separated.

The situation left the commissioning mother with no legal or biological link to the child and left her in an extremely vulnerable position (the legal mother is always the birth mother).

This case is another in a recent string, which spells out the dangers and pitfalls of informal surrogacy. It is crucial to obtain the parental order within the strict 6-month deadline and to make sure that you are aware of the criteria required to allow such an order to be made before the arrangements are entered into.  

The case also acts as a reminder of the importance of surrogacy agreements being drawn up in advance where possible, but acts as a cautionary tale as to how easy it is to accidentally commit a criminal offence when dealing with the arrangements, which are criminal as soon as they take on a commercial element.

Surrogacy is undoubtedly a wonderful arrangement for many, but the complexities involved should not be underestimated and there is no substitute for detailed and careful research.

Cara Nuttall is a Family Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

Slater and Gordon offer both fixed fees and flexible pricing for family and children law services. For a free initial consultation call freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help you.

Family law

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