The law in the UK is fairly simple in the majority of cases and in short aulteristic surrogacy is legal in the UK with only reasonable expenses being paid to the surrogate. The intended parents would apply for a Parental Order following their child's birth to complete the legal process transferring the parental rights from the surrogate (and her spouse if she has one) to the intended parents. The paperwork is filed by the intended parents using form C51, once the baby is between 6 weeks and 6 months old. The process can take a few weeks, a few months or even longer depending on the court involved and how quickly they process the application.
In law the intended parents cover/the surrogate can claim reasonable expenses. What is reasonable for one surrogate will be vastly different to another surrogate. Her expenses are based on her personal circumstances at the time and they are worked out by her alone. They are non negotiable. Please see the Cost Of Surrogacy and Becoming A Surrogate sections of this website for more details. During the Parental Order process the expenses will be looked at by the court.
When the child's birth is registered the surrogate automatically goes on as the birth mother. This is the law. If the surrogate is married or in a civil partnership, her spouse goes on as the birth father/second parent. Sometimes the registrar will take the circumstances into account and will put either the intended mother or intended father (whichever is biologically related to the child) on the birth certificate as the second parent but this is purely at their discretion and isn't strictly adhering to the law. If the surrogate is not married then one of the intended parents can go on the birth certificate immediately without problem.
A lawyer or any third party cannot gain financially from facilitating a surrogacy arrangement, that is illegal. A lawyer is rarely required for a surrogacy arrangement and their services are only usually called upon if there is a problem regarding the Parental Order post birth. However in Scotland a lawyer plays the part of CAFCASS during the Parental Order process (please see The Parental Order section of the website for more details).
Please follow this link to read the Surrogacy Act -
Intended parents can now claim leave and pay equal to adoption leave and pay from their workplace (subject to meeting the qualify criteria). This includes paid time off for up to two appointments during the pregnancy. Please follow the link for more information -
As a surrogate, once you are pregnant you are covered by the exact same law as if the baby was your own. This gives you the exact same rights in regards to ante natal pay and leave during the pregnancy and maternity pay and leave post birth also with the same protection you would normally get. Plus you will get the maternity exemption card as normal for free prescriptions and dental care.