Why UK surrogacy laws need to change

There are definitely things we can implement and learn from other countries to make the process smoother, writes Karen Holden

Monday 09 August 2021 16:23 BST
Surrogacy laws are currently under review by the Law Commission of England and Wales
Surrogacy laws are currently under review by the Law Commission of England and Wales (Getty/iStock)

My team and I have worked with surrogacy cases for more than a decade in both the UK and abroad. From surrogates asking for more money to separating parents during the process, trust me when I say we’ve seen it all.

Each country has varying rules and regulations when it comes to surrogacy, some more restrictive and some more inclusive. Although a lot has changed over the years to make the process more accessible, UK laws in relation to these arrangements still remain complicated with much room for improvement. At present they are governed by several historical acts of parliament, such as the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFEA 2008) and the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (ACA 2002).

Unlike some other countries, our current legislation affords such little protection and certainty to intended parents (IPs) and also the surrogate, which means many UK IPs prefer undertaking their surrogacy arrangements internationally. However, even upon their return, these IPs are still required to apply for a parental order and follow UK rules to secure parental responsibility for the child.

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