Consultation event: building families through surrogacy: a new law

Birmingham Law School, Lecture Theatre 1 - Law Building
Tuesday 3 September 2019 (16:30-18:30)

Lesley Griffiths - Senior Administrator, Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research:

The Law Commission of England and Wales is holding a consultation event on their recent consultation paper Building families through surrogacy: a new law, jointly published with the Scottish Law Commission. 

The event is hosted by CEPLER at Birmingham Law School and will provide you with an opportunity to discuss your views on our provisional proposals and questions, to help us shape our recommendations to Government. Further details are set out below, and can also be found on our website (you can also read a summary).

Professor Nick Hopkins (Commissioner) and Spencer Clarke (Lawyer) will be giving a brief overview of our proposals on:

  1. The new pathway
  2. Reforms to the parental order route
  3. Payments
  4. Access to information
  5. International surrogacy arrangements

After an introduction to our proposals or questions on each topic, there will be time for questions and discussion.

The consultation paper

Our joint consultation paper with the Scottish Law Commission concludes that change is needed in surrogacy law to make sure the law works for everyone involved. To reflect the shared intentions of surrogates and intended parents, and to further the welfare of the child born through the surrogacy arrangement, the Law Commissions are proposing to allow intended parents to become legal parents when the child is born, subject to the surrogate retaining a right to object for a short period after the birth.

This proposal for the creation of a new surrogacy process or “pathway” is one of several that the Law Commissions are now consulting on which aim to bring greater certainty, put the child at the heart of the process and provide comfort and confidence to both the surrogate and the intended parents. Other proposals include:

  • The creation of a surrogacy regulator to regulate surrogacy organisations which will oversee surrogacy agreements within the new pathway.
  • In the new pathway, the removal of the requirement of a genetic link between the intended parents and the child, where medically necessary.
  • The creation of a national register to allow those born of surrogacy arrangements to access information about their origins.
  • The possibility of the automatic recognition in the UK of legal parenthood conferred on intended parents by another jurisdiction, following an international surrogacy arrangement

The Law Commissions also ask a number of questions to open the debate on the important topic of the payments that intended parents should be able to make to the surrogate, while provisionally proposing that surrogacy organisations should remain non-profit.

Please note: the room location will be confirmed by email in advance of the event.

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