Family Law asked us to give an account of the conference and the issues it discussed, for other family lawyers across the UK. Natalie’s article looks at the development of UK policy and how the UK courts have increasingly accepted the modern reality of international surrogacy arrangements, with a string of cases (in which our team has been proud to be involved) which have established the principle that the welfare of children should come first. Quite right too – we believe that all children deserve to have recognition and status within their biological and intended family, however or wherever they were born. However, the situation is less rosy in other countries around the world, as was clear from the other surrogacy law experts we met at the conference.
Problems with cross-border surrogacy arrangements have also led the Hague Conference on private international law to consider regulating international surrogacy, which was something discussed widely at the conference. Natalie’s also article looks at some of the early proposals from the Hague, which include vetting prospective parents as if they were adopting a child rather than conceiving their own biological child. We are concerned to ensure that the unique nature of surrogacy arrangements is properly recognised in any new international regulation.