Surrogacy: Not Just For the Rich and Famous

Cara Nuttall
Cara Nuttall
Partner and Family Law Solicitor

It was widely reported across the press last week that Amber Herd has announced she has become a mother through surrogacy, after welcoming a baby girl in April. Ms Herd announced the news on Instagram, explaining that she had wanted to become a mother “on her own terms.”

Herd is the latest in a growing line of celebrities to turn to surrogacy to extend their family. Famous examples include Sarah-Jessica Parker, Elton John and of course, Kim Kardashian.

Surrogacy is often thought of as something only open to the rich and famous, not least because it can, without doubt, be an incredibly expensive process depending where it takes place and what the arrangements are. 

But it is important to understand that it is not the exclusive domain of those with status and wealth, and there are people from all walks of life who have successfully completed a surrogacy journey.

Surrogacy – Where to Begin?

Research is key when considering whether surrogacy is right for you.

Understanding the Law

It is firstly crucial to understand the law, especially making sure you will be or can become the child’s legal parent(s) on or after birth.  This often varies according to where the surrogacy takes place, but it is important to make sure that if the arrangement is international, or you have international links (such as foreign nationality), you understand the legal position in all relevant countries, and how they interact.

Knowing the Effects of International Law

It is also important to make sure that any arrangement is strictly legal, because there is a huge difference globally as to how surrogacy is treated. In some countries, it is illegal, in others, surrogacy is only open to certain people.

You should also think about the genetic issues and who will be the biological parent(s) of the child so you understand how this may affect how legal parenthood is assigned.

The Costs of Surrogacy

The costs of surrogacy vary significantly depending on where the arrangement takes place and whether you use a clinic or home insemination.

How much you pay the surrogate also varies significantly, depending on the rules where the arrangement takes place.

It’s well-known that costs in places such as California can reach over $100,000, but we have seen numerous domestic arrangements undertaken on only the very bare essential expenses. So you should not be put off considering surrogacy in the belief it can only be done with hefty budget.

Of course, surrogacy is not right for everyone, and there are other ways of building a family that are better suited for some people.  It is important to get as much information as possible about all of the options and implications to make the right decision for you and your family. 

Our Family Law Solicitors can give you specialist advice about the legal implications of surrogacy or any other alternative route to help you begin your journey to building a family.

For initial legal advice call our Family Law and Divorce Solicitors

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