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Surrogacy Laws in the UK – An Overview

An increasing number of childless couples in the UK are taking the surrogacy route. Surrogacy is a boon for numerous childless couples, same-sex partners, and singles across the UK, willing to experience the wonders of parenthood. Due to the legal intricacies involved in adoption, there has been a surge in the number of would-be parents thronging surrogacy clinics across the globe.

Every year, almost fifty couples in the UK opt for surrogacy. An increasing number of UK nationals are flocking to countries such as India, Costa Rica, and closer home to Belgium, Georgia, and Ukraine for surrogacy. Although surrogacy has given many UK couples the opportunity to live their dreams of cuddling a cherubic baby, yet it will be worthwhile to know the legal status of surrogacy in the UK.

Some of the legislation governing surrogacy in the UK are as follows:

Surrogacy Arrangements Act, 1985 – This Act came into force on July 16, 1985, in response to the birth of the first commercial surrogate baby in the UK, amidst a lot of hue and cry. This Act prohibits commercial surrogacy in the UK. The intended parents can only pay a reasonable sum of money, as they deem fit, to the surrogate mother to cover the expenses during the term of the pregnancy.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, 1990 – An amendment to the Surrogacy Arrangements Acts, 1985, this Act gives the surrogate mother the right to keep the child, in case she changes her mind.

Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 2008 – Replacing the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001, this Act recognizes the rights of same-sex couples as legal parents of children born through donated sperms or eggs.
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