UK Surrogacy: proposals for overdue legislation reform

The Regulation Fee not too long ago revealed their last suggestions for UK surrogacy legislation reform, following an in depth mission that started in 2018.

Their proposals search to modernise UK surrogacy legislation, and enhance assist for youngsters, surrogates, and supposed dad and mom, while making certain that UK surrogacy stays an altruistic reasonably than a industrial endeavour. Stowe Associate and surrogacy lawyer, Liza Gatrell, explains extra.

UK Surrogacy: proposals for overdue legislation reform

Following a public session in 2019, the Regulation Fee launched its suggestions for a comprehensive overhaul of UK surrogacy laws final week. The suggestions embrace a draft invoice that, if authorised by Parliament, may grow to be legislation.

Using surrogacy preparations for household constructing has elevated lately however UK legal guidelines haven’t saved tempo, rendering them outdated and never match for objective. This causes an added layer of complexity and stress to what ought to be a contented time.

What’s surrogacy?

Surrogacy is the place a lady carries and offers delivery to a baby for the supposed dad and mom. The surrogacy may be conventional, whereby the surrogate additionally donates her egg, or gestational, the place she has no genetic hyperlink to the kid.

What’s fallacious with present surrogacy legislation?

Below the present UK surrogacy legislation, the surrogate will all the time be the kid’s authorized father or mother and if she is married her husband or spouse will mechanically be the second authorized father or mother. That is the case even when the surrogate has no genetic hyperlinks to the kid. If the surrogate is single then it’s attainable for one of many supposed dad and mom to be the second authorized father or mother. The supposed dad and mom should then make an utility to courtroom inside 6 months of the kid’s delivery for a parental order, which re-assigns the authorized parentage to the supposed dad and mom.

Why is change wanted to UK surrogacy legislation?

Current surrogacy legal guidelines, which date again to the Eighties, incessantly fall in need of offering ample safety for the surrogate or the supposed dad and mom. Surrogacy agreements are unenforceable and there’s no scrutiny of surrogacy preparations till after the child has been born, by which level it’s arguably too late. The lack to acquire a pre delivery order within the UK leads many supposed dad and mom to journey abroad, that means they’re then confronted with elevated expense, immigrations legal guidelines that they need to additionally navigate, and considerations concerning the exploitation of girls and youngsters.

The UK surrogacy legal guidelines have all the time been altruistic in nature, reasonably than industrial, and this may proceed, however underneath the proposed modifications the supposed dad and mom can be recognised because the authorized dad and mom from delivery (topic to the surrogate’s consent). That is much more in step with the shared intentions that the surrogate and the supposed dad and mom have proper from the beginning.

The brand new surrogacy pathway

The reforms will apply to UK preparations solely. Supposed dad and mom that journey overseas for his or her surrogacy association will nonetheless have to make an utility for a parental order.

The brand new pathway will enable the supposed dad and mom to be recognised because the authorized dad and mom from delivery, topic to sure necessities and safeguards being met, these are:

  • An settlement between the surrogate and the supposed dad and mom
  • A preconception evaluation of the welfare of the kid to be born by the association
  • Unbiased authorized recommendation for the supposed dad and mom and the surrogate
  • Implications counselling to be undertaken by the supposed dad and mom and the surrogate
  • Medical screening for the supposed dad and mom and the surrogate
  • Enhanced prison file checks
  • Settlement of a Regulated Surrogacy Organisation to allow the association onto the brand new pathway

There’s additionally recommended reform to the funds that may be made to surrogates to make clear what constitutes a “affordable expense”, which is able to present a lot wanted readability.

Authorised funds shall be:

  • Prices associated to the choice to enter an settlement

Unauthorised funds shall be:

The surrogacy reforms will see the creation of regulated our bodies, known as Regulated Surrogacy Organisations (RSOs), non-profit organisations ruled by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). They’ll oversee agreements underneath the brand new pathway and supply assist to surrogates and supposed dad and mom.

Reforms to the parental order course of

Parental orders will nonetheless be wanted for worldwide preparations, however some reforms to the method have been really useful. One reform is to allow a parental order to be made with out the consent of the surrogate the place the welfare of the kid required it.

It is usually really useful that the surrogate’s partner shouldn’t be a authorized father or mother and so their consent won’t be required for parental order to be granted.

A brand new surrogacy register

A brand new register can be created to permit anybody born by means of surrogacy to entry details about their origins. Youngsters born by way of surrogacy in England and Wales will be capable to entry non figuring out data at age 16 and figuring out data from age 18. In Scotland each can be from age 16.


These reforms don’t go so far as some would have appreciated, however they do imply that UK surrogacy agreements shall be higher supported and controlled, which is welcome information. It’s now for the Authorities to think about these suggestions. Watch this house.

Helpful hyperlinks

Why we want surrogacy legislation reform

Worldwide surrogacy – what you could know

UK surrogacy legislation FAQs

A concentrate on surrogate consent and parental orders