"British Embassies and High Commissions are dealing with an increasing number of people who are choosing international surrogacy as an alternative route to parenthood, with more and more parents heading to the US, India, Ukraine and Georgia to enter into surrogacy arrangements," the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said here yesterday.
"The new guidance urges prospective parents to ensure they are fully aware of the facts and are well prepared before starting what can be a long and complex process," it said in a statement.
According to the guidance, the process for getting a child born to a surrogate abroad back to the UK can be complicated and can take several months to complete.
Besides getting a passport for the child, parents would also need to apply for a parental order in the UK to transfer legal rights from the surrogate mother.
"We want to help inform prospective parents about what to expect right from the outset so that they are prepared, get the right advice and they don't run into unexpected difficulties," said Daisy Organ, children's policy advisor at the FCO.
Anne-Marie Hutchinson, founder of the International Surrogacy Forum, said: "I cannot emphasise strongly enough how important it is that prospective parents seek legal advice before beginning the international surrogacy process. Every country has different laws and the intricate legal requirements can be very difficult to navigate."
Referring to India, the guidance said couples must ensure they have the right type of medical visa before entering the country.
"In order to leave India, you will need to arrange Indian exit clearance, which will allow your baby to leave India. Once your baby receives a British passport you should apply to the Foreigner's Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in the state where your child was born for Indian exit clearance. You should allow enough time to complete this process, which could take a few weeks," it added.