Surrogacy—parental orders—general principles

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Surrogacy—parental orders—general principles
  • Guidance
  • Law Commission consultation
  • The parties
  • When parental orders can be made
  • Conditions that must be met
  • Standard orders
  • Parental order reporter
  • Effect of a parental order
  • Duration of parental orders
  • More...

Surrogacy—parental orders—general principles

A parental order provides for a child to be treated in law as the child of the applicant(s) if:

  1. the child has been carried by a woman who is not the applicant, or one of the applicants, as a result of the placing in her of an embryo or sperm and eggs or her artificial insemination, and

  2. the gametes of the applicant, or at least one of the applicants, were used to bring about the creation of the embryo

In addition, the conditions set out at section 54(2)–(8) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFEA 2008) must be satisfied where there are two applicants, or HFEA 2008, s 54A(2)–(8) where the application is made by a sole applicant. See:

  1. The parties

  2. When parental orders can be made

  3. Conditions that must be met

The paramount consideration of the court is the child’s welfare throughout their life. See Practice Note: Surrogacy—general principles

Part 13 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010, SI 2010/2955 (FPR 2010) sets out the procedure on an application for a parental order. See Practice Note: Surrogacy—parental orders—procedure.


In February 2018, the government released two sets of guidance for surrogates and intended parents setting out how to start a family through a surrogacy arrangement, and on how to care for surrogates and intended parents in England and Wales. The guidance for healthcare professionals sets

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