Currently, the law (Human Fertilisation and Embryology At 2008) doesn’t allow a single parent with a child born via surrogacy to obtain a parental order, leaving their family legally vulnerable. However, following the case of Re Z [2016] EWHC 1191 (Fam), the Government has accepted that there is a need for a change in legislation.

Draft legislation was laid before Parliament on 29 November 2017 and it is now (5 February 2018*) hoped that this overdue change in the law will be in force by the end of the Parliamentary summer recess of 2018.

When the legislation finally comes into force, the Government has clearly recognised the fact that there are likely to be a number of single people who have already become parents via surrogacy arrangements, including the father in the case of Re Z, who will wish to use the new legislation to obtain a Parental Order. The draft legislation contains a provision (Section 54A (14))  allowing applications for Parental Orders in respect of children already born via surrogacy, to be made for a period of six months from the date the new legislation comes into force.

It would be sensible for any single parents with a child or children born via surrogacy, to consider taking legal advice before the new legislation comes into place so that they are in the best possible position to make the relevant application to the Courts within this six month window.

For more information

If you have any questions about this matter and the likely impact of the proposed new legislation may have on you and your family, then please contact Paul Nursall.

* House of Commons Library briefing paper 5th February 2018