On 6th June, at a conference entitled ‘Reforming Surrogacy Laws: Future Directions and Possibilities’, the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission will launch their public consultation on reforming the UK’s outdated surrogacy laws. You can find a copy of the press release here: Surrogacy consultation press release final
Surrogacy UK has long campaigned for legal reform and was consulted by the Law Commission in the preparation of their proposals. We commend the Law Commission on
their detailed review and broadly welcome their comprehensive proposals which we feel will help altruistic surrogacy in the UK to flourish.
Key Law Commission Proposals:
● Allowing legal parenthood to transfer from surrogates to intended parents at birth through a new administrative process – the surrogacy pathway – rather than applying to the courts some months post-birth, as happens today. This will improve child welfare and reduce legal complexity.
● Removing the requirement that intended parents have a genetic link to the child. This will end the discrimination against individuals and couples who are infertile from having children through surrogacy.
● Continuing to ban profit-seeking, commercial surrogacy agencies. This underpins the UK’s altruistic, not-for-profit surrogacy model and helps to protect surrogates
and intended parents from possible exploitation.
● Introducing regulatory oversight of surrogacy organisations for the first time, establishing a new regulator that sets standards, encourages best practice, monitors compliance and publishes data. As long as regulation is affordable and proportionate for individuals and organisations, this will improve service provision
and better protect surrogates, intended parents and their children.
● Creating a national register of surrogacy arrangements. This will allow children born through surrogacy to be able to access more easily information about their genetic and gestational origins.
The Law Commission seeks further feedback on the controversial issue of payments to surrogates before making detailed proposals in this area. We agree that “there is too much uncertainty around the payments that can be made to surrogates”. Surrogacy UK will continue to propose improvements to the existing not-for-profit, expenses-based model, since research shows that most UK surrogates and intended parents don’t want surrogacy to operate on a profit-making basis.