Special Guardianship and Surrogacy
Circumstances may arise where you may have to look after a child that is not your own. Such a situation could for example arise in the event that a relative is not properly able to care for their child.
A Special Guardianship Order is an alternative to the limitations of adoption or fostering and gives legal recognition to the Guardian over the child. Unlike adoption, the birth parents still have some parental responsibility for the child but it is limited and the special guardian is only required to consult with them in exceptional circumstances. It entitles you to make important day to day decisions in respect of the child’s life such as matters relating to their education, medical care and religion.
Anyone over the age of 18 who has permission from the court can apply and applications are often made by grandparents, aunts or uncles or anyone who has lived with the child for a significant period. An application for a Special Guardianship Order requires three months’ notice to be given to the local authority who will then provide a report containing recommendations as to whether a Special Guardianship Order should be made.
An increasing number of people are now choosing to have a child with the assistance of a surrogate mother either domestically or abroad. Such a decision is often a highly emotional and daunting one that raises many complex legal issues regarding parents and the child.
Whilst surrogacy agreements in England and Wales are not legally enforceable they can ensure there are remedies in the event that things do not turn out as planned. It is therefore advisable to seek legal advice in respect of all the potential risks before entering into a surrogacy arrangement.
We recognise the sensitive nature of these issues and can advise both intended parents and surrogates of the legal implications of surrogacy arrangements. If you want further advice please contact Simon Lim or Vicky Briam.