The Law Commissions' Consultation on Surrogacy

Closes 11 Oct 2019

Chapter 10: Children's Access to Information About Surrogacy Arrangements

51. Consultation Question 43: We provisionally propose that, in England and Wales, where the making of a parental order in respect of a child born of a surrogacy arrangement has been recorded in the Parental Order Register, the child should be able to access his or her original birth certificate at the age of 18. Do consultees agree?
52. Consultation Question 44: We provisionally propose that where children are born of surrogacy arrangements that result in the intended parents being recorded as parents on the birth certificate, the full form of that certificate should make clear that the birth was the result of a surrogacy arrangement. Do consultees agree?
53. Consultation Question 45: We invite consultees’ views as to whether the birth registration system in England and Wales requires reform and, if so, which reforms they would like to see.
54. Consultation Question 46: We provisionally propose that, in England and Wales, from the age of 18, a child who has been the subject of a parental order should be able to access all the documents contained in the court’s file for those parental order proceedings. Do consultees agree?
55. Consultation Question 47:

We provisionally propose that a national register of surrogacy arrangements should be created to record the identity of the intended parents, the surrogate and the gamete donors. Do consultees agree?

We provisionally propose that:

(1)          the register should be maintained by the Authority;

(2)          the register should record information for all surrogacy arrangements, whether in or outside the new pathway, provided that the information about who has contributed gametes for the conception of the child has been medically verified, and that the information should include:

(a)          identifying information about all the parties to the surrogacy arrangement, and

(b)          non-identifying information about those who have contributed gametes to the conception of the child; and

(3)          to facilitate the record of this information, the application form/petition for a parental order should record full information about a child’s genetic heritage where available and established by DNA or medical evidence, recording the use of an anonymous gamete donor if that applies.

Do consultees agree?

56. Consultation Question 48: We invite consultees’ views as to whether non-identifying information about the surrogate and the intended parents should be recorded in the national register of surrogacy arrangements and available for disclosure to a child born of a surrogacy arrangement.
57. Consultation Question 49:

We provisionally propose that a child born of a surrogacy arrangement should be able to access the information recorded in the register from the age of 18 for identifying information, and 16 for non-identifying information (if such information is included on the register), provided that he or she has been given a suitable opportunity to receive counselling about the implications of compliance with this request. Do consultees agree?

We invite consultees’ views as to whether a child under the age of 18 or 16 (depending on whether the information is identifying or non-identifying respectively) should be able to access the information in the register and, if so, in which circumstances:

(1)          where his or her legal parents have consented;

(2)          if he or she has received counselling and the counsellor judges that he or she is sufficiently mature to receive this information; and/or

(3)          in any other circumstances.

58. Consultation Question 50: We invite consultees’ views as to whether there should be any provision for those born of a surrogacy arrangement to make a request for information to disclose whether a person whom he or she is intending to marry, or with whom he or she intends to enter into a civil partnership or intimate physical relationship, was carried by the same surrogate.
59. Consultation Question 51:

We provisionally propose that where two people are born to, and genetically related through, the same surrogate, they should be able to access the register to identify each other, if they both wish to do so.

Do consultees agree?

We invite consultees’ views as to whether there should be provision to allow people born to the same surrogate – but who are not genetically related – to access the register to identify each other, if they both wish to do so.

60. Consultation Question 52:

We invite consultees’ views as to whether provision should be made to allow a person carried by a surrogate, and the surrogate’s own child, to access the register to identify each other, if they both wish to do so:

(1)          if they are genetically related through the surrogate; and/or

(2)          if they are not genetically related through the surrogate.

61. Consultation Question 53: For surrogacy arrangements outside the new pathway, we invite consultees’ views as to whether details of an intended parent who is not a party to the application for a parental order should be recorded in the register.