We offer specialist advice on the legal issues that may arise when you or family member has been through or is undergoing fertility treatment.
We can help you with:
- Issues with legal parentage and parental responsibility following fertility treatment
- Declaration of parentage applications
- Advice regarding the use of embryos, eggs and sperm following separation
- Concerns with the storage of your eggs, sperm or embryos at a UK clinic
- Posthumous conception legal advice
If you would like to find out more about how we can help, please call us or send us an email.
Who will be my child’s legal parents after fertility treatment?
The woman who gives birth will always be a legal parent.
The identity of the second legal parent depends on your marital status and the circumstances of conception. If you are married or in a civil partnership at the time of conception, then you will both be the legal parents.
If you and your partner are unmarried, conceive at a clinic and sign the correct parenthood forms, then you will both be the legal parents. If you conceive with a donor at home and are unmarried, then the donor will be the legal father.
What is a Declaration of Parentage?
A Declaration of Parentage is an order made by a judge which confirms that a non-birth parent is a legal parent. This might be necessary where an unmarried couple have conceived with a sperm donor at a UK fertility clinic and there were mistakes in the forms which they signed before their treatment. Mistakes in the paperwork may mean that the non-birth parent’s legal parental status is at risk and a Declaration of Parentage is necessary.
If your fertility clinic contacts you to tell you that there is a problem with your paperwork, get in touch with our fertility solicitors and we can talk you through your options.
How long can my eggs, sperm or embryos be stored?
However, you can apply to extend the storage period. To do this, you must consent to the extension (in the case of storage of embryos, both egg and sperm provider must consent). A doctor also needs to confirm that you are prematurely infertile, or are likely to become prematurely infertile. Where embryos are stored, the doctor needs to confirm that one of you is or is likely to become prematurely infertile.
There are strict requirements about when this needs to be done, so if you are approaching the end of the 10 year storage period and think you may want to apply for an extension, you should get in touch with us as soon as possible.
What is posthumous conception?
Posthumous conception is when a child is conceived using the eggs, sperm or embryo of someone who has died.