Case study: Beth and Adam’s story 

Infertile couple achieve their dream of a family through surrogacy

Beth and Adam had been married for four years when they decided that they wanted to start a family. Several years and a great deal of investigation later, they learned that Beth would not be able to carry a pregnancy to term. They took a step back to consider their options, including adoption, but decided this was not for them.

Finding a surrogate

After a lot of thought they decided to try to conceive a child using a donated egg and Adam’s sperm, which would be carried by a surrogate. They made contact with a British surrogate called Emma via a non-profit organisation. Beth, Adam and Emma spent some time getting to know each other and agreeing a detailed plan for the way forward before starting the process of IVF at a licensed fertility clinic here in the UK.

Preliminary legal advice

We advised Beth and Adam that as commercial surrogacy is strictly prohibited in this country, they should make sure that any payments they made to Emma – for things like maternity clothes and travelling expenses for antenatal appointments – were noted carefully and could be justified to a future court as “reasonable expenses”. We also made sure that everything was in place so that Beth and Adam would fulfil the necessary criteria for parental orders to be made transferring legal parenthood from Emma to themselves after the birth of the hoped-for child.

Pregnancy and birth

On the second cycle of IVF, they received the amazing news that Emma was pregnant. Beth and Adam stayed in touch with Emma during the nine months and were present at the birth of baby Eleanor. They were able to take Eleanor home from the hospital as soon as Emma and the hospital staff were happy that she was ready to go home. At this point, Emma was still considered to be Eleanor’s legal mother due to the way the law works in this country.

Application for a parental order

In the weeks following the birth, we helped Beth and Adam put together the necessary statements as part of their application for parental orders. We guided them through the court process to ensure that they were prepared for the sort of questions that would be asked of them by the parental order reporter who acts as a neutral advisor to the court during the process.

Everything went very smoothly and Beth and Adam were soon in possession of parental orders, which confirmed their status as Eleanor’s legal parents.

Further advice and information

If you are considering surrogacy, whether as a surrogate yourself or an intended parent, in this country or overseas, why not contact one of our specialist solicitors for an informal discussion? Whatever stage you have reached in your journey, this can be a complex area of law and legal advice can help to ensure a hitch-free beginning to your new family. [Insert standard link to phone number and contact form]


Follow the links for more information about the legal issues surrounding surrogacy and legal parenthood.

*Important note

All of our case studies here are based on real life clients and their experiences. However, due to the sensitive nature of the work we do, all names and some factual details have been amended to protect the privacy of our clients.


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