Law Commission recommends surrogacy laws are updated

7 June 2019

The Law Commission has undertaken a review of UK surrogacy laws and has recommended that they are updated with a 'surrogacy pathway'.

Sir Nicholas Green, Chair of the Law Commission, has said "More and more people are turning to surrogacy to have a child and start their family. We therefore need to make sure that the process is meeting the needs of all those involved. However, the laws around surrogacy are outdated and no longer fit for purpose. We think our proposals will create a system that works for the surrogates, the parents and, most importantly, the child".

The proposed reforms include:

  • Intended parents gaining rights at birth rather than having to apply to the Court to be recognised as parents post birth, providing the surrogate with a right to object for a short period of time following the birth.

  • A regulator created to oversee the new regime, checked by social workers and doctors with all parties receiving independent legal advice. A register would be created to enable surrogate born children to access information about their origins.

  • A suggestion about the payments that can be made to the surrogate and that the surrogacy organisations remain non-profit.

  • That there is no longer a need for the intended parents to have a genetic link to the child, providing there is a medical justification.

  • If the surrogacy arrangement takes place abroad, the intended parents will need to continue to apply to the court.

The proposal for this reform will need to be considered by ministers. If they embrace the proposal, this will lead to a radical overhaul of surrogacy laws and will mark the first time that a non-biological parent will be recognised as a parent at birth.

If you wish to discuss these proposals or your own surrogacy arrangement, please contact us.

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