After 40 years, surrogacy law could be reformed.
On 29 March 2023, the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission published a joint report. It has concluded that the intended parents of a child born to a surrogate mother should be able to get legal parenthood from the point of its birth. The couple who will raise the child, being their intended parents, must currently wait at least six weeks to become legal parents. In practice, they often have to wait up to a year to go through the court process.
The existing law dates back almost 40 years, and the government-commissioned review bodies have said it “does not work in the best interests of any of the people involved”. They are also recommending the creation of a new ‘surrogacy register’. This register would allow the children born through surrogacy to trace their origins when they are older.
These recommended changes are well welcomed in the surrogacy sphere. The process is hoped to create an improved and extremely well-regulated regime to dissuade couples from opting for international surrogacy agreements, which can bring a greater risk for all involved.
What happens next? The Government will review the report and consider whether the recommended changes to surrogacy law should become law.
About our Family Law team
Our family law team are all members of Resolution, which means we are committed to resolving family disputes in a non-confrontational manner. As members, we encourage solutions that consider the needs of the whole family – and in particular the best interests of children. If you would like to discuss surrogacy and what these recommended changes might mean to you, please contact Estella Newbold-Brown at our Crystal Palace or Bromley office.