21 April 2023
I was delighted to attend The Surrogacy Network on 20 April 2023 to hear from The Law Commission on their proposals for surrogacy law reform in the UK. As a result of my specialist national and international surrogacy law practice, I have called for surrogacy law reform in the UK since 2009 when I litigated the first case in UK legal history to test the law for British parents conceiving through an international commercial surrogacy arrangement in Ukraine. As such, it was great to finally get to this point and like others, I hope that the proposals will be implemented by the UK government.
In essence, The Law Commission proposes a new pathway to legal parenthood for domestic surrogacy arrangements, to enable intended parents to become the surrogate born child’s legal parents at birth, subject to eligibility conditions. Their proposals have stimulated wide ranging questions and debate on the future practice of surrogacy and how to improve the pathway to parenthood for parents, children and families.
The Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission’s recommendations seek to:
- Ensure that surrogacy continues to operate on an altruistic and not a commercial basis in the UK.
- Protect the best interests of the surrogate born child by providing greater certainty about legal parenthood for intended parents and surrogates.
- Reflect the shared intentions of surrogates and intended parents and enable intended parents to be recognised as legal parents from birth, provided this remains the wish of the surrogate.
- Protect against the exploitation of women who become surrogates.
- Put in place safeguards and checks before conception takes place.
- Protect the surrogate’s autonomy through pregnancy and childbirth.
You can read more about the proposals for surrogacy law reform in the UK in my recent blog “Building Families Through Surrogacy: Law Reform“.
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