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Surrogate Motherhood

Department of Health written question – answered on 7th June 2016.

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Photo of Baroness King of Bow Baroness King of Bow Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the views of surrogates, academics, parents through surrogacy, and legal practitioners, about the case for surrogacy law reform, in particular with regard to legal parenthood following surrogacy.

Photo of Baroness King of Bow Baroness King of Bow Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of Sir James Munby’s ruling in In re. Z(A Child) (No.2) [2016] EWHC 1191(Fam) that UK law is incompatible with the human rights of single parents who have children born through surrogacy.

Photo of Baroness King of Bow Baroness King of Bow Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 11 May (HL8079), and in the light of the judgment In re. Z(A Child) (No.2) [2016] EWHC 1191(Fam), whether they now intend to review the legislation relating to surrogacy.

Photo of Lord Prior of Brampton Lord Prior of Brampton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health

Surrogacy is a complex issue, the legislation about which has not been significantly addressed by respective administrations since the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985. The Government recognises the arguments for the need for a review, and we have therefore asked the Law Commission, as part of the consultation on its 13th work programme this summer, to consider including a project on surrogacy

The Government has accepted the judgment by Sir James Munby from the High Court. We will be looking to update the legislation on Parental Orders, and are now considering how best to do this.

The Government recognises surrogacy as an important option for some people wishing to start a family and is currently considering how best to clarify the current legal arrangements for intended parents, surrogates and their families. The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service campaign to increase awareness of Parental Orders is ongoing and targeted at health workers, local authority registration staff and surrogacy agencies. It will be evaluated in full upon completion in autumn 2016; in-campaign monitoring indicates its messaging is reaching the target audience.

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