16 Mar 23
Surrogacy law in the UK
Exploring the practical, legal, and ethical considerations raised by surrogacy.
Today, the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission have published their joint proposals for a new law and system to govern surrogacy in the UK.
Our recent policy briefing suggested that an update to the current law on surrogacy in the UK is needed to help provide better support and protection to surrogates, surrogate children, and their families.
The Law Commissions’ proposed law reforms include changes which aim to address many of the issues highlighted in our policy briefing, including around how parenthood is attributed, questions around payments to surrogates, and how to ensure that people can make a fully autonomous decision about entering into a surrogacy arrangement.
The proposed new laws would introduce:
On international surrogacy, which we highlighted in our policy briefing as raising particular ethical issues, the Law Commissions have not proposed major changes. However, some legal and practical measures to safeguard the welfare of children born through surrogacy to UK intended parents, have been recommended. These include, for example, making it easier for the child to acquire UK nationality, and recording information in a proposed new surrogacy register.
We remain of the view that updates to surrogacy law are needed to help better protect and support all involved, and we will continue to engage with policy makers on this issue to help ensure that ethical considerations are at the centre of decision-making. As we emphasised in our policy briefing, in considering changes to surrogacy law and practice in the UK, it will be important to take into account the emerging evidence, experiences and views of UK surrogates and families created through surrogacy in the UK. We also need to be aware of the limitations of this evidence and voices that might currently be missing, such as international surrogates and those involved in informal surrogacy.
Read our policy briefing: Surrogacy law in the UK: ethical considerations