Birth certificates naming two gay dads are now a reality in the UK. Natalie Gamble and Louisa Ghevaert founding partners of one of UK's leading specialist fertility law firms. Gamble & Ghevaert explain these groundbreaking legal changes.
There is definately an art to building a family as a gay man. Times are changing, and the UK's new gay-friendly surrogacy laws are just one example of the options now available.
As of 6 April 2010, an important legal change now enables gay men to apply for a court order making them the joint legal parents if they have a child through surrogacy. The court will trigger the re-issue of their surrogate child's birth certificate so that it names them both as the parents.
It means that gay dads who have a child through surrogacy can now use the UK's surrogacy laws to become full and equal legal parents-and get a birth certificate to prove it.
If you are thinking of building a family through surrogacy, it's important to get to grips with the legal issues right from the start. Finding a surrogate mother in the UK is definately easier than it used to be for gay men, but the law is restrictive and you need to take care not to commit any criminal offences. Some people consider going abroad, where more liberal laws can make it seem easier to find a surrogate mother. Wherever in the world you conceive, you need to make sure you understand how the law applies (both abroad and at home), what legal process you have to follow and, if you are conceiving abroad, how to get your child home safely.
But all that is a step two, and surrogacy isn't the only possible option for building a family. For gay men, there is an obvious biological hurdle to overcome in the baby-making process, so how to make a family is the first question. You'll need to decide whether to build your family through co-parenting, to adopt or foster, or to brave surrogacy either at home or abroad. Each option is very different, and making an informed choice is key.
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Read more about surrogacy and co-parenting for gay couples.