The Modern Family

The Modern Family

Jennifer Aniston has spoken about her attempts to start a family using IVF.

She told the magazine Allure she wished someone had told her to freeze her eggs.

“It was a challenging road for me, the baby-making road,” she added.

“All the years and years of speculation… It was really hard. I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it.”

This will be a story that resonates with a lot of people and whichever way you choose to achieve your family, we are here to help you on your path to parenthood. We are well placed to advise you on the legal issues that may arise on your path to parenthood including;-

Assisted reproduction and Donor Conception

We can advise you on the legal aspects of your fertility journey including

Donor conception and known donor disputes as well as Pre-conception agreements. If you’re thinking about conceiving this way we can clearly set out the legal considerations whether you’re single, in a partnership or entering into a co-parenting agreement.


This is an area currently undergoing reform, with a draft Bill expected in spring 2023.

Surrogacy is where a surrogate mother carries a child on behalf of intended parents. One or both of the intended parents should have a genetic link to the child. Traditional surrogacy involves the surrogate mother’s egg being used, making her the genetic mother, fertilised by the intended father. Gestational surrogacy, involves the egg being provided by the intended mother or a donor, fertilised by the intended father.

In the UK surrogacy is legal but not on a commercial basis. This means that surrogates can only receive reasonable expenses for entering into a surrogacy arrangement.

Irrespective of whether traditional or gestational surrogacy is used, under Scottish law, the surrogate mother is the legal mother of a child at birth. If the surrogate is married or in a civil partnership, her spouse/civil partner is treated as the child’s second parent. If the surrogate is not married or in a civil partnership, the biological father will usually be treated as the child’s legal father. Presently, intended parents have to wait until the child has been born and then apply to court to become the child’s parents. This process can take a significant period of time to be concluded and more importantly affects the intended parent’s ability to make decisions about their child.  If you are thinking about proceeding with Surrogacy, early legal input is required and we can advise you on all legal aspects of your Surrogacy journey.


To adopt a child in Scotland you can do so if you meet the following criteria

You’re an adult aged 21 and older, Single or in a couple. There is no legal upper age limit. Adoption can be arranged through either an agency via your local authority or any other registered agency in your area. If you want to adopt a child who is a close relative or a step child you do not need to involve an adoption agency but you must tell your local authority that you want to adopt a child. In order to obtain an adoption order you have to apply to the court. An adoption order cannot be granted until a child has lived with you for at least 13 weeks and the child must be at least 19 weeks old before the order is granted. The courts paramount concern will be ensuring that the child’s welfare is safeguarded and supported throughout their life. An adoption order will not be made unless the birth parents agree or unless the court decides that their consent is not needed. If the child is aged 12 over then the child formal consent is also needed. When the adoption order is granted you will have full legal rights and responsibilities for the child

Adopting a child is a major decision and there is formal legal process through which you become the child’s legal parent which we can fully advise you on.

The law surrounding fertility can be a difficult landscape to navigate and we are here to guide you through that journey. Getting early legal advice will allow you to be assured that you are on the right legal path when creating your modern family. Our family solicitors are here to guide you. Get in touch for more information or to speak to one of our specialist solicitors.

For more information please contact Sarah Feeney, Associate email  or telephone +44 (0)141 530 2034

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