Surrogacy in the UK
The HFEA updated its Code of Practice guidance on surrogacy in October 2013 (following advice from NGA). Our article, published in Bionews in May 2013, explains the changes.
Many people think that surrogacy arrangements often break down, with the surrogate keeping the baby. Natalie's article, published in charity Infertility Network UK's magazine for fertility patients (Winter 2011) dispels the myth and explains how UK law really works.
Re TT (a minor) was the first disputed surrogacy case published in the UK in which a surrogate mother kept the baby. This article, published in Bionews in February 2011, discusses the case and its implications.
Our article, published in The Review (journal for family solicitors) in September 2009 gives an overview of how surrogacy works in the UK in law and in practice.
Resources: Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985
The Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985 creates the offences of surrogacy brokering and advertising. It also sets out that surrogacy agreements are unenforceable under UK law.
Resources: HFEA Code of Practice guidance on surrogacy
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's Code of Practice gives guidance to fertility clinics on surrogacy, setting out how UK clinics should deal with surrogacy cases, and explaining the procedures and options for allocating legal parenthood.
UK court decision: Re N (2007) - child transferred into intended parents' care after UK surrogacy arrangement broke down
A UK traditional surrogate mother feigned a miscarriage, and the intended parents, who discovered she had given birth to a little boy, applied to the family court for a residence order (an order that the boy should live with them). The court transferred care to the intended parents, because this was deemed to be in the child's best interests in this case.
UK court decision: Re TT (2011) - child should live with the birth mother after UK surrogate changes her mind
A UK traditional surrogate mother changed her mind and decided to keep the baby. The intended parents applied to the family court for a residence order (an order that the child should live with them) which the court refused. In this case, the court decided that the child should stay with the birth mother, who offered the best care.