On 29 March 2023, the Law Commission published its proposals for surrogacy law reform in the UK. This followed their research and discussions going back to 2018. I was involved in those discussions on behalf of the Law Society. I know that the Law Commission were committed to hearing responses from many different viewpoints and balancing those responses. They took their responsibilities very seriously.
While the Law Commission’s proposals are a positive step for those who are able to arrange a surrogacy in the UK, they are more limited for those who enter into international surrogacy arrangements.
The Law Commission have proposed a new pathway which would replace the current parental orders, but international surrogacy arrangements would be excluded from that pathway and parental orders would still need to be obtained. On the positive side, the Law Commission has proposed:
- Improvements to the speed and efficiency of existing nationality and immigration processes;
- An amendment to British nationality law so that more children would be born automatically British;
- The introduction of clearer guidance;
- Updating the current ‘outside the rules’ visa policy and bringing it within the Immigration Rules.
It should be stressed that these are just proposals and it is up to the government to decide whether to adopt any or all of the Law Commission’s recommendations. We await a response from the government.
For now, we continue as before and we are, of course, happy to advise on any immigration nationality issues relating to international surrogacy agreements.