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 (known as the ‘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.