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SurrogacyUK are very pleased with the Law Commission’s report on surrogacy law reform.
The Commission’s proposal protects and strengthens the altruistic model that is so important to us, and provides much needed improvements in the clarity and security for all parties in UK surrogacy arrangements.

Launch of the APPG on surrogacy in December 2017

Legal Reform

The SurrogacyUK Working Group on Legal Reform has been instrumental in campaigning for change to UK law on surrogacy. As well as contributing to the first ever Government guidance on surrogacy, we are the secretariat for an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on surrogacy, which is chaired by Andrew Percy MP.

Launch of the APPG on surrogacy in December 2017

A report of our recent APPG hearings (which heard evidence on UK surrogacy and hopes for legal reform from a wide range of stakeholders) is due to be published in Spring 2019.

Most recently, we have launched an update report to our 2015 publication. Our findings are based on the largest ever survey of UK surrogates and intended parents and makes recommendations for reform that have been fed into the Law Commission’s on-going review. You can view the press release here.

Our original report ‘Surrogacy in the UK: myth busting and reform’ – a landmark document, calling for evidence-based reform – formed the basis for a 2016 conference, the papers from which were subsequently published in a special edition of a law journal and a 2016 House of Lords debate on surrogacy law reform. Its recommendations are supported by leading academics and policy influencers including Baroness Mary Warnock, who was instrumental in the creation of the UK’s laws on assisted reproduction.

In 2015 we launched a letter writing campaign that resulted in the highest ever number of responses to a Law Commission consultation and helped secure a root and branch review of UK surrogacy law. The consultation paper for this review is due in Spring 2019.

We actively campaigned for legal reform to enable single people to apply for parental orders and were thrilled to welcome our first single intended parents to SUK this year. You can read our press release here.

Building Families Through Surrogacy: A New Law

Cover of Building Families Through Surrogacy - the Law Commissions' 2023 report.

Surrogacy UK has been actively campaigning for the reform of the UK’s surrogacy laws since 2014 when we started a letter writing campaign to the Department of Health. The research and campaigning that we have done (click here for a summary) has helped to bring about a root and branch review of UK surrogacy laws, in the form of a project by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission which reported its findings in March 2023.

In response to the report, Natalie Smith, a parent through surrogacy and Chair of SurrogacyUK’s Legal Reform Working Group said: “I am delighted to see the recommendations from the Law Commissions which provide a long overdue, well considered, and comprehensive review of the UK’s outdated surrogacy laws.”

SurrogacyUK’s full response is here.

Pictured: Launch of the APPG on surrogacy in December 2017 

Our campaign wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of people with real-life experience of creating families through surrogacy. We have had massive support from surrogates, intended parents and children born through surrogacy. From writing letters, to taking part in research, visiting MPs and ministers, and sharing your stories in the media, you have made a huge difference. We continue to need your support to help change the law.

Pictured: Launch of the APPG on surrogacy in December 2017 

Click here to find out how you can support our campaign by writing to and/or visiting your MP. We have created some guidance to help you visit and/or write to your MP to tell them about your experience of surrogacy, why law reform is important to you and to ask them to join the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Surrogacy. This includes a template email that should be tailored to reflect your experience and views.

Register your interest in our virtual event on 5th February 2023 that will give you a chance to understand more about the current law, our recommendations for change, the Law Commissions’ project on surrogacy and how you can help make change happen. You can email  to register your interest or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to hear the latest.

If you want to share your story please contact our media rep ( who can help you.

Legal reform – How can you help?

Contact Your MP

Once the Law Commissions publish their draft bill and report in Spring 2023, the bill will need to pass through Parliament to become law. Assuming the bill reflects our recommendations, we’ll need as many MPs as possible, from across all parties, to support the bill and help it pass as new legislation. That means we want to get MPs to join the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on surrogacy so that they can stay updated on the issue.

That’s where you come in. There is nothing more effective in getting support from MPs than hearing from their constituents, especially those with personal experience of an important issue. Writing to your MP is a great start and it’s good to have a written record of your request. What’s even more powerful is going to visit your MP to talk to them directly about the issue. We know that it can be daunting to visit your MP, so we have created a few resources below to help you:

How to find and contact your MP:

Simply put your name, postcode, or place in this website to find out who your MP is and how to contact them

Visiting your MP

Visiting your MP is not as scary as it may sound and can make a huge difference to the level of support that they give to law reform. Many of the MPs that have joined our APPG did so after surrogates, intended parents or families visited them. You do not need to be an expert on surrogacy law, you just need to tell them about your own experience.

Many MPs run regular surgeries, where they meet with their constituents to talk about issues of concern. Some of these are run on a ‘drop-in’ basis so you don’t need an appointment. However, if you do wish to make an appointment you can get in touch with them by:

  • Calling your MP in their office at the House of Commons on 020 7219 3000. Ask to be put through to their office and give their name
  • Asking your local town hall or library for your MP’s contact details or looking in the Directory of MPs
  • Looking on your MP’s Facebook page, twitter page or website (if they have one!).

Writing to your MP:

We’ve put together a template to help you write to your MP, which you can access in this blog. However, it’s really important that you use your own words to talk about why surrogacy is important to you and why you feel the law needs to change. Please remember you must include your address when writing to your MP.

Background Information

If you’d like more information on surrogacy law, the Law Commissions’ project or the APPG there are some great materials below.

You can also follow the following organisations on social media or follow the tag “surroref”:
  • APPG on Surrogacy
  • Surrogacy UK
  • Law Commission

Our Working Group

The SurrogacyUK Working Group on legal reform was set up in late 2014 and has been instrumental in campaigning for changes to UK Surrogacy law. We have brought together a wide range of people involved in surrogacy – including surrogates, intended parents, families through surrogacy, surrogacy organisations, lawyers, academics, MPs and policy influencers – to explore what legal reform should look like in the UK.

Our original aims and vision still stand, we want to:

  • Make sure that the voices of those experiencing surrogacy – intended parents, surrogates and children born through surrogacy are heard and listened to
  • Ensure that any calls for reform are evidence-based (not based on myths or assumptions)
  • Ensure that reform recognises UK surrogacy as a positive and accepted form of assisted reproduction
  • Ensure that reform will improve the lived experiences of surrogacy and make it more accessible

The following members currently make up the Surrogacy UK Working Group on Legal Reform:

Natalie Smith (Chair)
Member of SurrogacyUK and a parent through surrogacy

Dr Kirsty Horsey
Professor in Law at Kent Law School, University of Kent. Kirsty has been interested in and actively researching surrogacy law – and advocating reform – for over 20 years

Sarah Jones
Chief Executive or Surrogacy UK and a five time surrogate

Alan McLellan
Member of SurrogacyUK and a father through surrogacy

Sarah Norcross
Director of the Progress Educational Trust (PET), Commissioning Editor of its publication BioNews and Co-Chair of the campaigning organisation Fertility Fairness

Andrew Powell
Family law Barrister in London specialist in children law in the private, public and international sphere

Our recommendations

Our initial principles have influenced our specific recommendations for legal reform. The full set of recommendations can be found in both our 2015 and 2018 reports.

We are pleased that some of our original recommendations from our 2015 report have now been made. These include:

  • The Government – via the Law Commissions – has undertaken a root and branch review of UK surrogacy law which reported in March 2023
  • Parental orders are now available to single people who use surrogacy
  • The Department of Health, in consultation with the surrogacy community, has published a ‘legal pathway’ document for IPs and surrogates
  • The Department of Health has produced guidance for professionals in the field, written in consultation with the surrogacy community for midwives and hospitals, Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) and clinics.

Despite the considerable successes that we have helped to achieve, there is still have a long way to go to achieve everything we set out to do.

If you would like to be kept informed about the prospective reform of surrogacy law please complete this form.

You can see our latest recommendations summarised in the infographic below.

The law should maintain the underlying principle that surrogacy is provided on an altruistic basis and that no person or surrogacy organisation should profit from it.

Intended parents should be recognised at birth as the legal parents and be able to register the birth.

Parental orders should be available to IPs where neither parent has used their own gametes ('double donation').

IPs should not be evaluated for their suitability of becoming parents in an adoption-like framework, (instead using the same frameworks as those becoming parents through IVF or natural conception).

There should be a better definition of what constitutes a 'reasonable surrogacy expense', recognising that the types/amounts of expenses will vary according to individual circumstances.

A way of recognising parenthood acquired overseas (e.g. if that occurred within a country on a defined list, or similar) should be built into the law.

Public funding should be made available for surrogacy-related fertility treatment in the UK in line with other fertility treatments.

Surrogacy expenses should not be treated as income by the Department of Work and Pensions, nor should the recovery of expenses impact any other income-related entitlements.

Join as a KED Application forms

There should be better collection of data relating to surrogacy arrangements and the HFEA should provide a full set of surrogacy-specific forms for clinics to use.

Surrogacy should be included in schools' sex and relationships education (SRE).

Our campaigning timeline

We started out in early 2014 with a letter writing campaign to the Department of Health asking for them to look at the current surrogacy laws in the UK. In the same year we formed the Working Group and worked with the University of Kent in order to look at how surrogacy was experienced and how those involved with it felt about the law.

In 2015 we published our landmark report, “Surrogacy in the UK: myth busting and reform”

This report included a foreword from, amongst other influential policy makers and academics, Baroness Mary Warnock, whose 1984 report on human fertilisation and embryology formed the basis of current surrogacy laws. She supported the findings of the report and went on to speak at a 2016 conference based on the report. You can hear a BBC Women’s Hour interview with Baroness Warnock, the Chair of our Working Group on Legal Reform (Natalie Smith), and one of SUK’s surrogates (Caz) here.


In 2016 we met with the then-Minister for Surrogacy, Nicola Blackwood to talk about the findings of the report and ask the Government to support our recommendations, including a root and branch reform of the law and the creation of surrogacy guidance. The Government agreed to support these actions. In 2017 the Law Commision included surrogacy in its proposals for its 13th programme of law reform. The resulting project was announced in 2018. The Law Commissions are due to publish their final report along with a new surrogacy bill in Spring 2023. In 2018 the Government also published its first ever guidance on surrogacy, for intended parents and surrogates, and for healthcare professionals. We were part of a committee that helped create the guidance.

In 2016, we also helped bring about a 2016 debate in the House of Lords on ‘surrogacy law reform’.

In 2017 we became the secretariat for an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on surrogacy, which is chaired by Andrew Percy MP. The APPG conducted its own hearings with a wide range of individuals, organisations and campaigners from the surrogacy world and published its findings in a 2020 report.

An update to the 2015 report was published in 2018, based on the largest ever survey of UK surrogates, intended parents and professionals working in the field. In 2018, we also met with another Government Minister for surrogacy, Jackie Doyle-Price, who listened to a range of views and experiences from surrogates, IPs and lawyers.

In early 2019, SurrogacyUK welcomed our first single intended parents to SurrogacyUK, as the law finally changed to allow individuals to apply for Parental Orders. The law was changed using a Remedial Order.  This was in response to Sir James Munby, then President of the Family Division of the High Court, who found in favour of a single male applicant. The man had claimed, under the Human Rights Act 1998, that the law, which prohibited him from becoming a legal parent through surrogacy, was incompatible with his right to family life under the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as being discriminatory as single people were able to have children through adoption, donor conception or IVF [see Z (A Child) (No 2) [2016] EWHC 1191 (Fam)].

Also in 2019 the Law Commissions published their consultation paper on the prospective reform of surrogacy law, thanks in part to our campaign.

In 2020, We supported Andrew Percy to bring about another debate, this time in the House of Commons, on ‘Surrogacy: Government policy’. Once again the Government supported surrogacy as a legitimate form of family building, saying “There is no doubt that surrogacy can transform the lives of people who want to have their own children. We of course recognise the value of surrogacy in today’s society, where family structures, attitudes and lifestyles are increasingly diverse. It is all about building happy and loving families, and giving people the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful benefits and experiences—and, indeed, sometimes challenges—that that brings” [Caroline Dinenage, then Minister for Care, transcript can be found here]. In late 2020, the APPG also published its report based on the evidence hearings it held.

In 2021/22 we continued our campaign through the APPG and by engaging with, and listening to the views of those interested in surrogacy. In November 2021, SurrogacyUK took part in a conference called “Future Directions in Surrogacy Law” at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

In 2022 the Law Commissions announced a delay to publication of their report on surrogacy law.

In March 2023 the Law Commissions published ‘Building Families Through Surrogacy: A New Law’  (summary here). We engaged with the media and our members and coordinated a letter-writing campaign to MPs.

In November 2023 the current government indicated that they don’t intend to give the law parliamentary time within the current parliament.

We continue to campaign for and promote the Law Commissions’ work and will advocate for it to the next government.