Scottish Law Commission embarks on joint review of surrogacy laws
The Scottish Law Commission and the Law Commission of England and Wales have started work on a joint review of the laws on surrogacy.
The project forms part of each Commission’s current Programme of Law Reform and the UK government has referred the project to both Commissions as a joint project.
The Law Commission of England and Wales has now been granted the necessary funding for the project by the UK government.
Surrogacy is where a woman bears a child on behalf of someone else or a couple who then intend to become the child’s parents. The Commissions say that there are significant problems with the laws governing this process.
The way in which parental orders are granted may create difficulties for new intended parents making medical decisions about the child and the regulation of surrogacy requires improvement so that standards can be monitored and kept high, the Commissions said in a statement.
The Commissions said they will “now strive to make sure that the UK has surrogacy laws which work for everyone in the modern world”.
Professor Nick Hopkins, law commissioner for England and Wales, 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.”
Scottish Law Commissioner David Johnston QC (pictured) said: “Surrogacy is becoming more common every year, so it’s important that we have the right laws in place to protect all involved.
“That’s why we’ll be consulting widely to make sure we have surrogacy laws that work for the parents, the surrogate and, most importantly, the child.”