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Surrogacy during the Covid-19 pandemic

The global Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed life as we know it and caused massive disruption. Global travel restrictions are causing all manner of logistical difficulties for intended parents, surrogates and surrogate born children. The halt of fertility treatment and wider uncertainty brought about by the virus creates many legal and wider issues too for those embarking on, or part way through, a surrogacy arrangement.

Family building through fertility treatment and surrogacy is a demanding and time consuming exercise. The Covid-19 pandemic creates additional delay, anxiety and worry, financial issues and complex legal and practical issues for those building families through surrogacy on an unprecedented scale. Many of these issues are time sensitive, particularly where intended parents need to travel urgently for the birth of their surrogate child or need to return home post birth to access essential medical care for their newborn. These issues will often require creative solutions involving clinicians, surrogacy and egg donor agencies, surrogates, intended parents, healthcare professionals and specialist surrogacy and immigration lawyers.

For more information about the decision to halt fertility treatment in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic click here.

Legal issues

The global Covid-19 pandemic creates a variety of legal and wider issues for intended parents, surrogates and surrogate born children both in the UK and around the world, including:

  • Logistical difficulties for intended parents seeking to travel to their chosen surrogacy destination for the birth of their surrogate child.
  • Restrictive hospital policy limiting or preventing intended parents’ attending the birth of their surrogate child.
  • Inability of intended parents to personally assume care of their surrogate born child, both in the UK or a foreign surrogacy destination.
  • Difficulties obtaining legal status or parentage orders in respect of a surrogate born child.
  • Difficulties obtaining a passport or travel papers to return to the UK with an overseas surrogate born child.
  • Concerns about the health and welfare of a surrogate or an unborn surrogate child during the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Delays and uncertainty about accessing fertility treatment to establish a surrogate pregnancy.
  • Delays and uncertainty about entering a surrogacy arrangement.
  • Difficulties arising from a change in circumstances of a surrogate or intended parents.
  • Dispute with a surrogate, agency or fertility clinic arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Uncertainty about continued availability of a surrogate or donor as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Unexpected death of a loved-one and issues associated with posthumous storage and use of eggs, sperm and embryos in a surrogacy and fertility treatment setting.

If you are considering, or are part way through, a surrogacy arrangement in the UK, US, Canada, Ukraine, Republic of Georgia or elsewhere and you would like to discuss your situation or you require specialist fertility, surrogacy and family law advice and assistance please contact Louisa by email louisa@louisaghevaertassociates.co.uk  or by telephone +44 (0)20 7965 8399.

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