By Samantha Downes, Family Law solicitor at Irwin Mitchell

MP Liz Kendall has this weekend shared her news that she has welcomed a baby via surrogacy.

Ms Kendall is thought to be the first serving MP to have a child through surrogacy. The news comes after she reportedly spoke publicly about her long struggle with fertility.

More and more families are choosing surrogacy as a way of welcoming children into the world. A study by Kent University reported that 413 surrogate births were recorded in 2020 compared to 117 in 2011. It remains important to know what to expect both as a surrogate and as an intended parent from the outset of the process.  

Unfortunately, the law can still be difficult to navigate for both surrogates and intended parents. When a surrogate gives birth to a child, the surrogate is the legal mother and, if married, the surrogate’s spouse will be the other legal parent. The intended parents can apply to court for a Parental Order to transfer legal parenthood, but this can only happen once the child has been born.    

Happily, single parents are now able to apply for Parental Orders following a change in the law.

Before embarking on a surrogacy journey, it’s important for everyone involved to take specialist legal advice, so that they understand their rights and responsibilities, and are able to make fully informed decisions. At Irwin Mitchell, our expert family lawyers are always on hand ready to offer specialist fertility law advice.