What is International Surrogacy
International surrogacy is a method of assisted reproductive technology where intended parents, who are unable to conceive a child on their own, engage the services of a surrogate mother who carries and gives birth to the child for them. Surrogacy is a complex and emotionally charged process that involves various legal, medical, and ethical issues. When international borders are involved, these issues become even more complicated.
At Sterling Law, we understand that international surrogacy can be a challenging and stressful experience for intended parents. Our team of experienced lawyers is dedicated to helping clients navigate the legal and regulatory complexities of international surrogacy, and ensuring that their rights and interests are protected throughout the process.
Legal Framework for International Surrogacy
The legal framework for international surrogacy varies widely from country to country. Some countries have legal provisions that allow surrogacy arrangements, while others prohibit surrogacy entirely or only permit altruistic surrogacy. In some countries, surrogacy is legal, but there are no regulations to govern the process.
In the UK, surrogacy is legal, but intended parents cannot advertise for a surrogate or pay a surrogate beyond reasonable expenses. Intended parents must apply for a parental order to transfer legal parentage from the surrogate to themselves. A parental order can only be granted if certain conditions are met, such as the surrogate being at least 18 years old and consenting to the order.
In the US, surrogacy is legal, but the regulations vary from state to state. Some states have laws that permit and regulate surrogacy, while others prohibit it or have no legal framework. In states where surrogacy is permitted, intended parents can enter into a surrogacy contract with a gestational carrier, who is not genetically related to the child. The contract outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties, including the compensation for the carrier.
In Ukraine, surrogacy is legal, and the country has become a popular destination for international surrogacy. Ukrainian law permits commercial surrogacy, and intended parents can enter into a surrogacy agreement with a Ukrainian surrogate mother. The intended parents are listed on the birth certificate as the legal parents, and the surrogate mother has no legal rights to the child.
Legal Issues in International Surrogacy
One of the main legal issues in international surrogacy is determining the legal parentage of the child. The laws of the country where the child is born and the intended parents’ home country may differ on this matter. This can create a situation where the surrogate mother is recognized as the legal mother in one country, but not in another.
Another legal issue is the status of the surrogacy contract. In some countries, surrogacy contracts are not legally binding, which can lead to disputes between intended parents and surrogate mothers. In other countries, surrogacy contracts are legally binding, but there may be a lack of legal remedies available to parties in the event of a breach of contract.
There is also the issue of citizenship and immigration for the child born through international surrogacy. The laws of the country where the child is born and the intended parents’ home country may differ on the citizenship and immigration status of the child. This can create a situation where the child is stateless or unable to enter the intended parents’ home country.
Sterling Law’s International Surrogacy Services
At Sterling Law, we understand that international surrogacy can be a complex and emotionally charged process. Our team of experienced lawyers is dedicated to helping clients navigate the legal and regulatory complexities of international surrogacy and ensuring that their rights and interests are protected throughout the process.
We value your time. After the consultation, we will let you know what the next steps are. We will request the documents we need, and only call you when necessary. We are proactive, will update you on your case as soon as we have any news so that you don’t need to call, meaning you can rest assured that no actions are needed from your side.