Ollie Locke from Made in Chelsea fame has recently been in the news sharing his and his husband’s plans to start a family using a surrogate. The plan is to use an American egg donor and an English surrogate.
So, what are the options available to the LGBT community who want to start a family?
There are a few! However, it is important to seek legal advice prior to making any concrete decisions so that you can fully explore your options and have a proper understanding of the legal implications of each option in your particular circumstances.
Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction where a woman carries a child for another person or couple who will become the child’s parent(s) after birth. There are many options when it comes to surrogacy, including: –
- Implanting an embryo using the eggs and sperm of intended parents;
- Implanting an embryo using donated eggs fertilised with sperm from an intended parent;
- Implanting an embryo using eggs from an intended parent fertilised with donated sperm;
- Partial surrogacy which involves using sperm from an intended parent and an egg from the surrogate.
Usually, when a child is born to a surrogate, the next step is for the intended parent(s) to apply for a Parental Order, which transfers parenthood from the surrogate to the intended parent(s).
Donor Insemination is where donated sperm (and sometimes donated eggs or donated embryos) is/are put inside an intended parent. This can be done informally or formally but it is important for there to be a formal arrangement in place through a licensed fertility clinic if you want to try and avoid any disputes about who the legal parent is/the legal parents are.
Adoption or Fostering involves completing an assessment with the assistance of a social worker and training to transfer parenthood. This is a complex legal procedure.
Co-parenting involves two or more people entering into an informal arrangement to have a child together. Co-parenting can lead to disputes if there is a breakdown in the co-parenting relationship and so it is important to seek legal advice to understand your legal status and putting in place a co-parenting agreement.