HFEA to update surrogacy guidance to UK clinics

pink orchid next to shelves_bThe Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has voted to update the guidance it gives to UK fertility clinics on surrogacy. The new Code of Practice will:

  •  clarify what UK clinics should say to surrogacy patients, and
  • update clinic procedures and forms for surrogacy.

The HFEA voted to make these changes (following advice from NGA and its own lawyers) at its meeting on 20 March 2013 and will now undergo a period of consultation on the practicalities, before the new Code of Practice is introduced on 1 October 2013. This includes a workshop for clinics and professionals practising in surrogacy, to be held at the HFEA on 30 April 2013.

We congratulate the HFEA on a very sensible decision, which will mean clearer guidance for parents and clinics dealing with increasing numbers of surrogacy cases. In particular, it will be made clear that where a surrogate is unmarried, one of the intended parents (whether gay or straight, and whether or not a biological parent) can be named on the child’s initial birth certificate together with the surrogate. This approach will make the HFEA’s guidance entirely consistent with longstanding practice at register offices and in the family courts.

You can find out more about the HFEA meeting on 20 March here, and there is more on our website about surrogacy law.

Note added – Natalie has written an article for Bionews on this issue ‘The HFEA gets into gear on surrogacy’ which you can read online here.

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