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Bar Council calls for surrogates to be paid

23 October 2019

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It should be an option for intended parents to compensate a surrogate for career interruption, according to the Bar Council.

In response to a Law Commission consultation on the topic, which asked what payments intended parents should be able to make to surrogates, the Law Reform Committee of the Bar Council stated: “It should be open to intended parents to compensate a surrogate for career interruption, disruption to career progression and loss of earnings or bonus or other remuneration by reason of the pregnancy, childbirth or the post-partum recovery.”

It added that it would be beneficial for the surrogate to know from the outset in this arrangement that she is not going to be the legal parent of the child to whom she gives birth.

“By following this pathway, the law will in fact honour the intentions of all concerned and respect the right of the child to his or her personal identity on birth…The current law does not give effect to any of the intentions of the parties who enter into surrogacy arrangements in a timely or effective way. “

It is the intended parents alone who should have parental responsibility for the child – particularly in circumstances where the surrogate has not raised an objection or desire/intention to object, the response said.

It concluded: “In this scenario, without an objection raised by the surrogate, she will have neither physical care of the child nor legal parentage, thus parental responsibility is not required. Moreover, this outcome would accord with the responses given by surrogates that they do not want to be responsible for a child they have never considered to be theirs.”

In the consultation titled Building families through surrogacy: a new law, the Law Commission puts forward a number of proposals for reform, including the creation of a new pathway to legal parenthood in surrogacy, which will allow intended parents to be legal parents from birth.

Regulated surrogacy organisations would be formed to oversee surrogacy agreements within the new pathway, the requirement of a genetic link between the intended parents and the child would be removed, and a register would be set up to allow those born of surrogacy arrangements to access information about their origins.

 

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Regulation Family