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Government issues guidance on surrogacy

Date:1 MAR 2018
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The Government has released official guidance containing Information for intended parents, surrogates and health professionals about the surrogacy process in England and Wales. 

The guidance for surrogates and intended parents sets out how to start a family through a  surrogacy arrangement in England and Wales and the guidance for healthcare professionals sets out good practice in providing care to people having a child through surrogacy

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The Surrogacy Pathway guidance covers all aspects of the surrogacy process and the intricacies of such a delicate situation including:

  • starting the surrogacy process;
  • the agreement;

  • trying to conceive;

  • pregnancy and birth;

  • medical staff responsibility;

  • taking the baby home; 

  • the parental order process;

  • parental leave; and

  • factors to consider after surrogacy.

Cafcass contributed a section to the guidance to help to clarify the legal requirements and the parental order process, and to aim to demystify the process and ensure parents know what to expect. Cafcass CEO, Anthony Douglas said:

‘Cafcass welcomes the guidance, which also recommends that parents should be open with children about how they were born to help children feel secure about their origins and their relationship with their parents.’

Natalie Gamble, of NGA Law and Brilliant Beginnings, a non-profit surrogacy agency which advised the Department of Health on the guidance, said:

‘The project has involved a collaboration between the Department of Health and leading UK surrogacy organisations/professionals, reflecting the supportive and ethical ethos of UK surrogacy. It is hoped that, while the Law Commission is undertaking its review of UK surrogacy law (which will in time produce recommendations about how the law should be brought up to date), the new guidance will give those entering into UK surrogacy arrangements, and the professionals who support them, accurate information about the current law and best practice.

We are particularly pleased to see the government acknowledge surrogacy as a positive form of UK family building.’