Naomi Campbell's Baby Joy - Surrogacy and Your Legal Rights Explained

Jo-Anna Jellings
Author:
Jo-Anna Jellings
Senior Associate Solicitor
Date:
18/02/2022

With a rise in fertility issues and more people considering parenthood later in life for various reasons, couples and single people are exploring alternative methods for growing their families.

Naomi Campbell is the latest celebrity to reveal her baby to the world. Naomi has confirmed that she has not adopted her little girl and that she is “her child”. But she reveals little else in terms of the little one’s arrival into the world.

Whilst the details surrounding the birth of Naomi’s child remain a mystery, it’s widely believed that Naomi, like many other celebrities, had the assistance of a surrogate to carry her child and may also have previously frozen her eggs to use together with donor sperm through IVF.

It has been well publicised that more couples or individuals experiencing fertility issues and seeking to become parents later in life have turned to alternative methods of conception in recent years. This has been aided by the change of approach in English law that provides more flexibility for single people navigating these processes.

But this isn’t to say that Surrogacy and Donor Conception are always an easy way to build your family. If you’re embarking on either of these journeys, you may understandably feel overwhelmed. Our Family Law Team can support you at every stage so you can focus on spending time with family and preparing for your new arrival.

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If you’re starting the process of looking into surrogacy or donor conception, it can often feel like you’re on your own when it comes to researching and identifying what’s relevant and important from the masses of information out there.

Unlike in the US, commercial surrogacy is illegal in England and Wales which means many surrogacy agencies aren’t allowed to advertise (unless they are non-profit agencies), so people are left to seek these services out for themselves. This can leave a lot of people understandably feeling at a loss as to who to trust with such an important responsibility and where they stand legally.

We’ll talk through some of the key things to consider prior to entering into a surrogacy or donor conception arrangement below so you can get a better idea of where you stand before going forward. 

Transferring Intended Parenthood in Surrogacy

After having a baby via surrogacy, you’ll need to transfer legal parenthood to yourself through a parental order. Whilst this process is relatively straight forward from a legal perspective, there can still be significant complications so it’s important to be prepared.

 Additionally, it’s important to note that in England and Wales, you won’t be able to transfer legal  parenthood to the intended parents until after the baby is born which can sometimes cause issues, particularly in international surrogacy agreements.

Seeking legal advice early will reduce this risk by making sure everyone is clear on exactly what is required from the outset.

Regulations Around Freezing Your Eggs and Donor Conception

There are also laws regulating egg freezing as well as donor conception where the donor is known. Some people are not aware of this before looking at alternative means of conception which can lead to problems further down the line.

A trained Fertility Law Solicitor can help you set out what’s included in your donor agreement, advise you on your legal rights and support you in dealing with any potential disputes.

If you’re considering surrogacy or donor conception to build your family, get in touch with one of our expert modern Family Solicitors today for initial advice.

For initial legal advice call our Family Law and Divorce Solicitors

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