Bringing a surrogate child back from India
Surrogate children are often born stateless in India, and so British parents are firstly expected to apply for British citizenship for their surrogate child. Parents can also apply for an entry clearance visa; this is where the intended parents have applied for a parental order and met with various other conditions in order to be granted entry clearance on a discretionary basis.
Entry clearance is a status issued by a British Mission, such as an Embassy, High Commission or Consulate, outside of the UK. It cannot be issued within the UK. Entry clearance grants the applicant (in this case the surrogate child) to travel to the UK in a specific capacity. The visa takes the form of either a stamp in a foreign passport or a freestanding travel document if the child is stateless.
Bringing a surrogate child back from the USA
Surrogate children born in the USA will be American citizens, and UK parents can obtain a US passport within a couple of weeks. Whilst parents can travel back to the UK using their child’s US passport, there might be some risk as there is no right to admission on arrival in the UK.
A safer route would be to apply for a British passport or an entry clearance visa stamp in the child’s US passport before travelling, although this will take longer.
Bringing a surrogate child back from elsewhere
In other countries such as the Ukraine, Russia or Thailand, there are a number of options. If the child is born or successfully registered as a British citizen then parents are able to obtain a British passport. Parents can also apply for an entry clearance visa which, like India, is granted on a discretionary basis where parents have applied for a parental order and met with various other conditions.
It is important to plan your journey home carefully and to make the correct applications as soon as possible. For more detailed information on international surrogacy, read our Guide to international surrogacy.
If you would like to discuss an international surrogacy arrangement, or if you are thinking about any surrogacy arrangements then speak with our experienced surrogacy solicitor, Jeetesh Patel.