Written by Bev Jones, JMW Law.
Before I begin, I feel I must start this article with a disclaimer. Yes, I am a lawyer and I know what you will all think. Of course a lawyer will say that I need legal advice – but this is my reasoning.
I will let you into a secret. Lawyers make far more money from those who have NOT had legal advice. Then resulting in consult with Solicitors to resolve issues in the High Court. Most of these cases could have been avoided if parties had been appropriately advised, not just by lawyers but by other experts at various stages of their journey. I have always advocated how important early legal advice is and how that applies to both surrogates as much as intended parents.
By way of background and by way of introduction, I am Bev Jones. A Partner at JMW Solicitors specialising in all things Family Law and particularly surrogacy matters. I regularly advise on disputes, provide initial advice and present on the topic.
I’m also lucky enough to have been Mike and Wes’ [My Surrogacy Journey & TwoDadsUK founders] chosen Solicitor for a number of years now and been with them on both of their surrogacy journeys. Indeed, I can still remember my first meeting with both Mike and Wes. I’m not sure who was interviewing who – they fired questions at me left right and centre and why wouldn’t you? Mike and Wes certainly made the most of that first consultation! I urge you to do the same with your solicitor.
Changing the landscape
As an intended surrogate, egg donor or legal parent why would you not want or need to know how the law applies to your personal and individual circumstances?
What MSJ are striving to achieve is avoid those costly legal battles and ensure that their members have access to experts at every stage all under one package. It’s a perfect and sensible managed solution for anyone embarking on Surrogacy. This is to the best of my knowledge unique to MSJ – it is NOT the same to run a google search and become an expert overnight. Or be told by a non-lawyer how the law works (and your rights). If only the law was that simple. You should ask your lawyer questions in your consultation and explore all avenues of it. Being handed a piece of paper claiming you understand the law (from a non lawyer) isn’t the same in my opinion.
I am a huge advocate of the phrase “knowledge is power”. Being as informed as possible to put yourself in the best possible position to make life changing decisions. It is true that there is a basic procedure and set criteria to apply for a parental order but how do they apply to you? Your intended parents? What happens if there are disagreements along the way? Do your intended parents meet the criteria? What happens if something happens to the intended parents and/or their relationship? How are the Court treating surrogacy disputes and where do you stand? Do you know your rights if something doesn’t feel right? Would you know where to turn?
The MSJ way
The most successful surrogacy journeys I have been involved in (including Mike and Wes’) are where people don’t cut corners and put their trust in experts at every stage. This is where MSJ comes in particularly useful. They have taken the time over the years to put their group of experts through their paces me including. Take advantage of their trusted experts to be as informed as possible about this life changing journey.
In respect of the legal aspect the question shouldn’t be why do you need legal advice but why would you NOT want to be as informed as possible about how the law applies to YOU.
For more information or to enquire about how you can benefit from Bev’s services email her directly; email@example.com