In the last 20 years the availability of surrogacy has brought happiness to many families. Surrogacy law is complex and evolving. The medical science is also growing fast and some aspects may be leaving the law behind.

Surrogacy arrangements in England are not illegal provided they are altruistic. No commercial arrangements are permitted although it is not an offence to pay reasonable expenses and the court can retroactively approve payments.

There are three organisations in the United Kingdom which match applicants with potential surrogates, and as they are not-for-profit organisations this is perfectly legal. They also provide support for applicants through the process. However, at the time of writing, they either have closed their books or have excessively long waiting lists due to scarcity of potential surrogates.

For this reason many intending parents either find surrogates through informal networks or look abroad. Both of these avenues carry certain risks and it is prudent to speak to us at an early stage if you are pursuing these avenues. However, regardless of where the surrogacy arrangement takes place, the intending parents must apply for a parental order to obtain legal parenthood for the resulting child/children.

The criteria for obtaining a parenting order, whichever route is followed, are numerous and include that there must be a surrogacy arrangement in place, one of the intending parents must have provided genetic material for the child, and the application must be made during the six-month period after the child is born but not in the first six weeks after birth. (This time limit is currently being reviewed and it may become possible for applications to be made prior to birth if the legislation is amended. You need to speak to us if this timing has not been met.)

Legal problems can arise for foreign citizens who are living in the UK who are seeking a surrogacy arrangement, or potentially for dual citizens of the UK and elsewhere. Another issue of potential concern is where the surrogacy has taken place abroad when the parties were living there, but now need recognition of the child for the purposes of English law. For example, in relation to inheritance or residency issues.

If you would like further advice, please get in touch with us now.

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Children's Issues

The scenario below does not relate to any individual clients of ours but the facts and the outcomes relate to some similar experiences in our practice.

Scenario Analysis Example #1

The Scenario

Mr and Mrs H separated. Mr H moved a few streets away and their eldest boy (now 15) lived with him. The younger children (14 and 12) stayed with Mrs H but the children live near each other and attend the same school.

Mrs H remarried and wishes to move to her new husband's city. Mr H sought advice about residence of the other children. He told us the middle child wanted to stay at school with his friends.

Our Solution

There is no set age at which a child can "choose". Nevertheless in reality it would be hard for Mrs H to resist the 14 year old's wishes. We needed to be careful not to stress the children. Rather than issuing proceedingswe arranged mediation for Mr and Mrs H to discuss the issues.

We advised Mr H to be flexible regarding contact. They reached an amicable arrangement for all children to live with Mr H for the school week and half weekends; and flexible school holiday arrangements.

Henry Brookman Discusses: Childrens Issues

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Talitha offers sound advice, asks the right questions and advises you with what you need to know not just what you want to hear. I have no hesitation in recommending her services.

Sep 2021   Anu Vidyarthi

Henry took the time to go through all the details of my separation thoroughly. He was very clear on what my options were and what I needed to do to have a seamless agreement with my ex. Thank you for all your help!

Aug 2021   Sandeep Cina

Talitha provided a free consultation and could not have been more helpful. Her guidance was pragmatic and she managed my expectations both on costs and the process. Talitha offered practical advice to find a solution that could avoid going to court.

Aug 2021   Richard Doyle

I had an initial chat with Kevin, the senior associate. Extra ordinary talent to convince parties, very intelligent and I was wonderstuck at his brilliant knowledge of family law.

Aug 2021   Mrs. M. Merchant

I have nothing but positive feedback about this firm... Lorraine Imms from Brookman was absolutely brilliant... Her knowledge is exceptional and she has kept me informed through every step... I'd give ten stars if I could!

Jun 2021   Martin Byrne

Myself and my mother had a free video consultation with Mr. Brookman regarding my mother's divorce and were both impressed with his knowledge on divorce matters, professionalism and understanding. Henry then followed up with us with a clear plan of what he suggests we do...

Mar 2021   Bruna Cordeiro Pezzano

I had a consultation with Mr. Brookman and was impressed with his honesty, knowledge and understanding of my situation. He seemed to take a genuine interest in my case, which immediately put me at ease.

Mar 2021   Chichi

Very swift response and concise information. I had a very engaging free consultation with Mr Brookman initially which was informative and professional.

Feb 2021   Garry Ralph

I would like to say my experience with Mr Brookman was an extremely positive experience. His knowledge, advice and compassion put me very much at ease and made a very difficult situation much more bearable.

Feb 2021   Jenny Brock

Very helpful, and honest about my situation even though it wasn’t business for them at this time. Would recommend.

Jan 2021   Natalie Roche

About The Team

We are a specialist divorce and international divorce family law team, advising clients in the United Kingdom (specifically England and Wales) and throughout the world. We have a very people–orientated approach to working with clients. Henry Brookman has practised law for over 45 years, and our team has a wide range of skills and expertise. We are recommended by the Legal 500 and have been awarded the Law Society’s quality mark, Lexcel.

Partner

Henry Brookman

With over 45 years' experience, Henry Brookman is the senior member of the team. He is described by The Legal 500 as ‘shrewd, savvy, sagacious and highly experienced’.

Partner

Talitha Brookman

Talitha is a Partner in the firm and a very experienced practitioner. She has been exclusively practising family law for over 15 years and is a recognised expert in her field.

Partner

Philip Morton

Recommended by The Legal 500, Philip is an expert in all areas of family law, including domestic and international financial disputes, fraud and commercial dispute resolution.

Partner

Natasha Slabas

Expert in all areas of family law, often involving cases that have an international element, including work in relation to financial settlements following divorce.

Partner

Aziz Malik

Aziz is a Partner at the firm and is highly regarded for his expertise on financial matters in divorce and has been recommended by the Legal 500.

Senior Associate

Kirsty Kelleher

Kirsty is a specialist family law solicitor recommended by The Legal 500. An expert in divorce, financial matters, child-related disputes and contentious probate cases.

Senior Associate

Kevin Danagher

Kevin specialises exclusively in family law, advising on all aspects of relationship breakdown, divorce, same sex marriage, marital agreements, and international family cases.

Associate Solicitor

Jennifer Douglas

Jennifer is a talented solicitor, experienced in all elements of family law, including high net worth financial proceedings, Children Act proceedings and financial claims.

Associate Solicitor

Gavin Yeung

Gavin has excellent experience in family law including divorce and financial proceedings and international child abduction proceedings involving Hague Convention countries.

Senior Associate

Pippa Marshall

Pippa’s experience covers all areas of family law including divorce, financial remedies, same sex relationships, pre- and post-nuptial agreements and cohabitee property disputes.

Chartered Legal Executive

Lorraine Imms

With over 20 years' family law experience, Lorraine can advise on divorce, matrimonial finances, cohabitee disputes, nuptial agreements and private children matters.

Office Manager

Lorna Martin

Lorna is our Office Manager who oversees the operations of the firm including providing accounts support as well as secretarial support to the team.

Accounts Manager

Evdokia Dikova

Eva is an AAT qualified accounts manager and holds full AAT membership (MAAT). She gained her degree in financial accounting from the University of Economics in Bulgaria.

Secretary

Victoria Delatouche

Victoria is a highly experienced Legal Secretary and a long-standing member of the team. She provides secretarial support for the office.

Secretary

Michelle Louison

Michelle provides secretarial support to Henry Brookman. A very experienced family law secretary, Michelle has worked in law for over 12 years.

Front of House Manager

Patricia Antonio

Patricia is an experienced secretary and office administrator, handling the calls that come into the office, greeting clients, and managing office presentation.

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