Surrogacy is where a woman (known as the surrogate) agrees to gestate a child on behalf of a couple who would like to become parents (intended parents). After the baby is born, parental status is transferred to the intended parents.
There are two types of surrogacy:
- Traditional - the surrogate is artificially inseminated but uses her own egg to conceive
- Host/gestational - this involves IVF and uses the egg of a donor or another person
The general procedure of surrogacy is legal in the UK. However, there are certain rules:
- surrogates are not allowed to advertise their willingness to be a surrogate
- it is illegal for intended parents to advertise that they are seeking a surrogate
- it is a criminal offence to broker a surrogacy arrangement on a commercial basis
Furthermore, any surrogacy agreement is unenforceable in a British court.