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Earlier this week, BBC news reported that the number of parents having a baby using a surrogate is on the rise in England and Wales in the last ten years. However the current legislation in place needs reviewing. Surrogacy arrangements in the UK are regulated by the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985 and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. Experts say the current legislation leaves both surrogates and intended parents vulnerable.
Surrogacy is legal in the UK. However, it is illegal to advertise for a surrogate and it is illegal for third parties to profit from matching. At present, when the baby is born, a surrogate is deemed the legal mother regardless of genetics or any agreements in place. Once the baby is born an application is made to the Court for a parental order to transfer the legal parentage to the intended or biological parents.
The Government agrees the surrogacy law in the UK needs to change and has asked the Law Commission of England and Wales along with the Scottish Law Commission to review it. The Law Commission is undertaking an independent review on surrogacy, which is due to conclude in 2022.
Our solicitors at Sousa Law will be following the updates from the independent review on surrogacy, so keep an eye out for future posts regarding this fascinating area of family law.
By Kim Walsh
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