Great news for single parents who have, or would like to have, a child born through surrogacy. A new reform has come into force that allows single parents in the UK to make an application for a Parental Order, which identifies them as the legal parent of their surrogate-born child. A right previously granted only to couples.
This is important because under UK law the surrogate mother (and her spouse or civil partner if she has one) automatically becomes the child’s legal parent(s), even if there is no biological connection between them. The Parental Order extinguishes these automatic parental rights and transfers them to the child’s intended parent(s).
It is important to note that the normal criteria for applying for a Parental Order still applies, with the added caveat that the intended parent must have a genetic link to the child. Therefore, this change only assists single parents who use their own eggs or sperm. It is still a welcome development.
People have been campaigning for years for a variation to UK surrogacy law as it was seen to be discriminatory to single parents. The change was finally approved in December 2018 and came into force on 3 January 2019.