Following the human rights declaration made in our single father surrogacy case in the spring, the government has already said that it would support a Law Commission project on surrogacy law. That is fantastic news and it means we just now need to persuade the Law Commission to prioritise surrogacy over the other projects it is considering.
The consultation closes on 31 October, so please don’t miss the chance to tell the Law Commission why surrogacy law should be reviewed. It doesn’t take long to fill in the form and anyone can do it. They want to know:
- What are the problems in practice?
- What priority should they give to surrogacy over the other projects they are considering?
- What needs to be done to solve the problem?
- What would be the benefits of reform?
Please share your experience and say what you think about these questions. We are writing our own submission too, and will be telling the Law Commission about the problems experienced in practice by parents, surrogates and children, and how we think the law could better support surrogacy. In particular we will be calling for:
- Written surrogacy agreements to be encouraged in the UK before conception so that key issues are considered and settled upfront (even if those agreements are not legally enforceable)
- Where everyone agrees to this, parental orders made earlier so that the intended parents can be recorded on their child’s first birth certificate
- A review of the parental order criteria to ensure that all children born through surrogacy have their parentage recognised
- Prompt recognition of the status of children born through surrogacy overseas, ending the long wait to come home
- Clarity that UK law permits surrogates (in the UK and overseas) to be compensated, reflecting reality and allowing this issue to be dealt with more transparently
- The family court continuing to decide what is in the child’s best interests if there is a dispute, so that children’s welfare remains paramount
The consultation closes on 31 October, so don’t miss the chance to have your say too! Here’s the link: http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/surrogacy/
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