Surrogacy for UK professionals
There are a range of UK professionals who get involved in surrogacy arrangements, including surrogacy agencies, fertility clinics, medical professionals, social workers and CAFCASS.
Only non-profit making organisations are allowed to provide surrogacy matching services in the UK, and there are some detailed restrictions as to what you can and cannot do. IF you are involved with a surrogacy agency working in the UK (wherever in the world you are based) you need to understand what the law says about the UK legal framework for surrogacy.
Fertility clinic professionals
If conception takes place at a UK fertility clinic, the treatment part of the process is regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Fertility doctors, nurses and counsellors have a range of duties, including quarantining, counselling and giving information about legal parenthood (under new guidelines which came into effect in October 2013 and which we advised on). Find out more about UK fertility treatment for surrogacy.
Legal questions often arise about the duties of hospitals where surrogate children are born. See our guidance for maternity hospitals and midwives.
Questions may also arise about who has the right to consent to a child's medical treatment, both in the hospital where they are born and during the limbo period before the position on parenthood is resolved. Find out more about childcare and decision making.
Social workers and CAFCASS officers
Social services rarely have a remit to get involved in surrogacy situations, even if the parents are caring for their child without parental responsibility (if they intend to apply for a parental order). There is more information about how the law works for social workers here.
CAFCASS (the Child and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, part of the family court system) is invovled in the parental order application process after the birth. The family court appoints a parental order reporter from CAFCASS, who will visit the family (and the surrogate if she is based in the UK) and prepare a report advising the court as to whether the requirements of the law are met and, crucially, whether the reporter recommends a parental order as being in the child's best interests.