Law Commission review of ‘outdated’ surrogacy laws welcomed by campaigners

The Law Commission has began a review of surrogacy laws after the Government agreed funding

Surrogacy has become ever more popular in recent years as an alternative method to parenthood, particularly within the LGBTQ community. It involves a woman becoming a surrogate mother for what are known as intended parents, either using traditional surrogacy, in which her own eggs are used in the process or gestational, in which her womb plays host to the couple’s embryo.

The commission has said that there are significant problems with the laws which govern this process and campaigners have argued for many years the current surrogacy laws are outdated and need reform.

The way in which parental orders are granted could create difficulties for new intended parents making medical decisions about the child. And the regulation of surrogacy requires improvement, so standards can be monitored and kept high.

The review is likely to take three years to complete

Now, having agreed government funding, the independent law reform bodies will strive to make sure that the UK has surrogacy laws which work for everyone in the modern world.

Law Commissioner for England and Wales, Professor Nick Hopkins, said: “Our society has moved on from when surrogacy laws were first introduced 30 years ago and, now, they are not fit for purpose.

“For many, having a child is the best day of their lives and surrogacy can be the only option for some who want a genetic link to the baby. But the issues are difficult and there is no quick fix.

“Now we want all those with an interest to get involved and help us make the law fit for the modern world.”

The commission will look at three main areas for reform, difficulties surrounding parental orders, international surrogacy and how surrogacy is regulated

A three-year project to develop law reform recommendations that work for everyone will now take place.  This will involve extensive public consultation, with the Commissions aiming to publish a consultation paper within a year.

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