Surrogacy continues to be in the news and the BBC article below looks at some of the issues around surrogacy arrangements. The increase in Parental Orders following surrogacy arrangements between 2001 and 2020 mirrors the increase in media coverage around surrogacy. There has been an increase in surrogacy story lines in popular TV and radio soaps. Numerous celebrities have shared their experience of surrogacy in the news and on social media and families have been more open to discussing their use of surrogacy. As surrogacy is talked about more and attitudes towards couples using surrogates changes, surrogacy is becoming much more common and an option more people are using to create their family.

Surrogacy in the UK is regulated and there are laws which set out what you can and cannot do. These date back to the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985 and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. These are now old regulations, there have been huge changes in society and its approach to surrogacy and it is widely agreed that the law around surrogacy needs changing.

The Law Commission set up to review the law around surrogacy will publish its recommendations in Autumn 2022, and from those, hopefully there will be changes in the Law to reflect needs of the surrogate and the intended parents.

In the meantime, the current law has to be applied to surrogacy arrangements. The key points to bear in mind are:

  • Surrogacy allows a couple or an individual to have a child.
  • It is not permissible to pay a surrogate to have a baby, however, reasonable medical expenses can be claimed. 
  • You can enter into a surrogacy agreement, but they are not legally enforceable.
  • It is not permissible to advertise for a surrogate.
  • The child remains the legal child of the surrogate at birth.
  • The intended parent(s) have to apply for a Parental Order to become the legal parents of the child.
  • Once the Parental Order is made in favour of the intended parent(s), the surrogate (and her partner or spouse if she has one) loses all rights to the child.

Whilst it seems to be popular in in the current digital age to do things on Facebook or similar social media sites, it is recommended that surrogates and intended parents go through surrogacy agencies. There are numerous organisations in the UK that can assist people exploring surrogacy.

Ince is able to provide expert advice and representation to anyone who is thinking of becoming a surrogate or an intended parent. If you believe that surrogacy is right for you, early advice is crucial to avoid the risk of something going wrong and to provide support and guidance to enable a smooth and happy surrogacy experience.