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Clarification: Change to UK law allows same-sex couples to become legal parents

6 April 2010
Appeared in BioNews 552

Last week BioNews reported on the coming into force of new legislation allowing same-sex couples to become the legal parents of children born following IVF or surrogacy.

It has since been brought to our attention that the new laws do not in fact allow same-sex and unmarried couples to be named on the birth certificate from birth following surrogacy - they have to apply for a parental order following the birth. The intended parents must submit their parental order application within six months of the child's birth or, for unmarried and same sex couples who were not eligible to apply until today, within six months of 6 April 2010 if this is later.

A further stipulation, which was omitted from the original coverage in BioNews, is that at least one of the intended parents must be biologically related to the child. This is taken into consideration by the court, alongside numerous other criteria - including that couple are in a stable relationship, have entered into a surrogacy agreement without payment beyond expenses, and are acting in the best interests of the child - before a parental order can be awarded.

This article has now been corrected and links to the online version of the legislation have been added.

29 March 2010 - by Ailsa Stevens 
New legislation allowing same-sex couples to become the legal parents of children born following surrogacy will come into force next week. The change to the law means that couples using surrogacy no longer need to be married to be named on their child's birth certificate and is intended to afford unmarried and same-sex couples using any form of assisted reproduction the same rights to legal parenthood. It forms the final stage of the implementation of the UK's Human Fertilisati...
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