Law Commission to Review Law of Surrogacy

23 February 2018 Written by Family Law Caithness Category: News

The Scottish Law Commission recently published details of its Tenth Programme of Law Reform, which will include an examination of laws relating to surrogacy. This will apparently be a joint project with the Law Commission of England and Wales and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. 

The Commission describes surrogacy as the situation where a woman bears a child on behalf of another person or persons who intend to become the child’s parents for all purposes. The intended parents can become the legal parents of the child born to the surrogate mother by obtaining a Parental Order after the child has been born.

In the UK surrogacy is governed by the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985 and certain provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, areas of law generally reserved to the UK Parliament under the Scotland Act 1998.

According to the Commission, surrogacy is becoming increasingly prevalent and raises important issues for both the children and adults involved in such arrangements: these include questions of parentage and the prevention of exploitation of children and others. It believes a review is required because the law appears to have fallen behind changing social attitudes surrounding surrogacy with the result that the law, as governed by the 1985 and 2008 Acts, may be honoured more in the breach than in the observance. A position that the Commission describes as clearly unsatisfactory.

It says that reform will deliver significant benefits of clarity, modernity and the protection of those who enter into surrogacy arrangements and, most importantly, of the children born as a result of such arrangements.

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Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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