National Surrogacy Week, Surrogacy and the Law


National surrogacy week was founded in 2019 and runs from the 1st August – 7th August each year.  National Surrogacy Week’s aim is to raise awareness and educate the public about the surrogacy process.

Surrogacy has come a long way since the first surrogate baby was born in 1980. At that time, surrogacy was viewed with disapproval and concern. Over time surrogacy views have changed and we live in a very different world where surrogacy is concerned today.

The UK surrogacy community

The UK surrogacy community who supports National Surrogacy Week is made up of many organisations including surrogacy agencies, charities, legal advisors, and medical professionals.

Pinney Talfourd is pleased to be part of this community where we support intended parents on their surrogacy journey by providing expert legal advice. Our job is to ensure that those who are embarking on / or already on their surrogacy journey have all the necessary legal protection in place.

We have also signed up to become members of The Surrogacy Network – who provide exceptional professional, practical and emotional support for everyone on a journey through surrogacy in the UK, US, Canada and Mexico City.

Surrogacy and the law

At present the law relating to surrogacy is the same law which was created over 30 years ago. It is now out of date and all those involved in surrogacy welcomed the report of the Law Commission earlier this year. The report recommended sweeping changes to the law and the proposed changes will provide more clarity and assurance for all concerned. As surrogacy legal professionals – we very much welcome these changes.

Successful surrogacy arrangements

For a surrogacy arrangement to be successful it is vital that both the intended parents and the surrogate are aware of their rights and obligations from the outset as this avoids tensions and difficulties at a later date. If this is something you would like to discuss, please contact Louise Eady, Partner and specialist in surrogacy law via

There has been a 350% growth in UK and international surrogacy over the last 12 years

How much can I pay the surrogate mother?

As stated below, it is illegal in the UK to arrange surrogacy for profit. Parents are only permitted to remunerate the surrogate for their ‘reasonable expenses’. Reasonable expenses are considered by the court on a case by case basis and may include medical expenses as an example.

If a payment has been made, you could face issues following the birth of a child when you apply for a parental order. As part of a parental order application, the court must consider whether the surrogate has received any financial benefit more than ‘reasonable expenses’. It is therefore extremely important to discuss all surrogacy legalities with a professional.

What else should you know?

  • If you are an intended parent, you will not automatically be the legal parent of your child when they are born
  • It is illegal to pay a surrogate for anything other than reasonable expenses
  • A surrogate has the right to change their mind
  • You must obtain a court order to become a baby’s legal parent
  • Surrogacy is not only for same sex couples
  • You can work with a surrogate from abroad
  • Having a baby through a surrogate requires a legal process

How can we help?

Pinney Talfourd support both intended parents  and surrogates in terms of the legal process. We have a number of offices across Essex and London and offer face to face and online consultations. If you are seeking surrogacy legal advice, please feel free to contact either Louise Eady or Remyhs Baker.

The above is meant to be only advice and is correct as of the time of posting. This article was written by Louise Eady, Partner in the Family team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of July 2023.



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