Changing UK Surrogacy Laws – Our Campaign
Responding to the Law Commissions’ consultation
REFORM AREA 2: Specific requirements and safeguards that are mandated for entry into the New Pathway
Questions 9 to 16 in the Short Form Survey related to the bundle of proposals discussed below .
There are two parts to our guidance on this bundle of reforms:
- A summary of the Law Commissions’ provisional proposals
- Surrogacy UK’s emerging views on the provisional proposals (please note these are provisional views that will evolve as we consult with our members and the surrogacy community)
|SUMMARY OF THE LAW COMMISSION’S PROVISIONAL PROPOSALS|
|OVERVIEW:||The process leading to the IPs acquiring legal parenthood will begin before the child is conceived. The process will include rigorous safeguards.|
|PROPOSED SAFEGUARDS IN THE NEW PATHWAY:||
|WHO WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE NEW PATHWAY?||
|REMOVING THE BAN ON ADVERTISING||
|WHAT ARE SURROGACY UK’S EMERGING VIEWS ON THE PROVISIONAL PROPOSALS?
PLEASE NOTE THESE ARE PROVISIONAL VIEWS THAT WILL EVOLVE AS WE CONSULT WITH OUR MEMBERS AND THE SURROGACY COMMUNITY
|FORMALISED SAFEGUARDS AND CHECKS:||We are broadly supportive of the checks and safeguards that are formalised in the new pathway. We do not foresee a huge impact on surrogates or IPs that would pursue a surrogacy journey through a surrogacy organisation as the vast majority of these pre-requisites are already in place as part of “best practice” within the community. However, we question whether all of these checks and safeguards need to be mandated, especially the requirement for independent legal advice.
We also raise two concerns:
1) whether the increased costs, process and ‘interference’ of the new pathway would disincentivise people to use this pathway even with the benefit of at-birth legal parenthood. We are exploring how the Law Commissions/Regulator could encourage more people to use the new pathway rather than the Parental Order route under the new model;
2) we are cautious of creating disparity between IVF and other forms of assisted reproduction where many of these safeguards are not mandated in legislation.
We support the increased role of surrogacy agreements in the new pathway and would like to ensure that they are not reduced to a document that only checks understanding of the legal implications of surrogacy and eligibility to enter the new pathway. Surrogacy agreements should be the process by which all aspects of a surrogacy arrangement (including contact, diet, worst case scenarios etc) are discussed openly by the individuals and any areas of disagreement are identified. This requires a specific skill in facilitation/mediation coupled with a deep understanding of the full surrogacy experience of surrogacy teams.
We agree that a surrogate should be able to enforce the financial terms of a surrogacy agreement and would like to explore this more with our members.
|CHILD FREE SURROGATES||We strongly support the inclusion of child-free surrogates within the new pathway and encourage surrogates who do not have children themselves to write to the Law Commission with their experiences.|
|REMOVING THE BAN ON ADVERTISING:||We recognise the arguments that support lifting a ban on advertising and we cautiously support this. We raise a concern that lifting the ban may increase the number of informal arrangements and ask the Law Commission to consider how it might prevent this risk being realised.|
|MEDICAL NECESSITY FOR SURROGACY||We would like to hear more from our members on whether “medical necessity” should be added as a requirement for IPs pursuing surrogacy. We are wary of introducing a mismatch between the rules for surrogacy and other forms of assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF|
Click here to download the Short Form Survey and respond to the Law Commissions’ provisional proposals. Questions 9 to 16 refer to this bundle of reforms.
Back to the intro page or click on the reform areas below to learn more
|Reform Area 1||Creation of a new pathway that allows intended parents to be legal parents from birth|
|Reform Area 2||Specific requirements and safeguards that are mandated for entry into the New Pathway|
|Reform Area 3||A regulator for surrogacy and regulated surrogacy organisations|
|Reform Area 4||Double donation (no genetic link to IPs required) could be permitted under the New Pathway in domestic surrogacy|
|Reform Area 5||Creation of a national surrogacy register so those born through surrogacy can access information about their origins|
|Reform Area 6||The Law Commission asks an open question about what kinds of payments should be allowed in surrogacy arrangements|
|Reform Area 7||For international surrogacy arrangements the Law Commission proposes reform and guidance to make it easier to bring a surrogate child back to the UK|