The Law Commissions' Consultation on Surrogacy

Closes 11 Oct 2019

Chapter 16: International Surrogacy Arrangements

97. Consultation Question 89: We invite overseas surrogates (or bodies representing or advocating for surrogates) to share with us their experiences of international surrogacy arrangements.
98. Consultation Question 90: We invite organisations focused on children’s rights and welfare in the international context to share with us their views on our proposed reforms and consultation questions in this chapter.
99. Consultation Question 91: We invite consultees to provide us with evidence of their experience of applying to register a child born through an international surrogacy arrangement as a British citizen and obtaining a passport for the child. In particular, we would be interested to hear how long the application took after the birth of the child, and any information consultees have about causes of delays in the process.
100. Consultation Question 92: We provisionally propose that it should be possible for a file to be opened, and the application process for obtaining registration of a child born from an international surrogacy arrangement and obtaining a passport to begin, prior to the birth of the child. Do consultees agree?
101. Consultation Question 93: We invite consultees to provide us with evidence of the experience they have had of applying for a visa for a child born through an international surrogacy arrangement. In particular, we would be interested to hear how long the application took after the birth of the child, and any information consultees have of causes of delays in the process.
102. Consultation Question 94:

We provisionally propose that it should be possible to open a file, and begin the process for applying for a visa in respect of a child born through an international surrogacy arrangement, before the child is born. The application will need to be completed after the birth of the child, and the issue of a passport in the child’s country of birth. Do consultees agree?

We provisionally propose that the current provision made for the grant of a visa outside of the Immigration Rules where the intended parents are not the legal parents of the child under nationality law should be brought within the Rules.

Do consultees agree?

We provisionally propose that:

(1)          the grant of a visa should not be dependent on the child breaking links with the surrogate; or

Do consultees agree?

(2)          that this condition should be clarified to ensure that it does not prevent the child having contact, and an on-going relationship, with the surrogate.

Do consultees agree?

We invite consultees’ views as to whether the current requirement for the grant of a visa outside the Rules that the intended parents must apply for a parental order within six months of the child’s birth should be removed (regardless of whether the availability of the visa is brought within the Rules), if our provisional proposal to remove the time limit on applications for parental orders is accepted.

103. Consultation Question 95:We provisionally propose that it should be possible to open a file, and begin the process for applying for a EU Uniform Format Form in respect of a child born through an international surrogacy arrangement, before the child is born. The application will need to be completed after the birth of the child. Do consultees agree?
104. Consultation Question 96: We invite consultees to provide us with evidence of the experience they have had of applying for a EU Uniform Format Form for a child born through an international surrogacy arrangement. In particular we would be interested to hear how long the application took after the birth of the child, and any information consultees have of causes of delays in the process.
105. Consultation Question 97: We provisionally propose that the UK Government should provide a single, comprehensive guide for intended parents explaining the nationality and immigration consequences of having a child through an international surrogacy arrangement. Do consultees agree?
106. Consultation Question 98: We provisionally propose that international surrogacy arrangements should not be eligible for the new pathway to parenthood. Do consultees agree?
107. Consultation Question 99:

We provisionally propose that:

(1) the Secretary of State should have the power to provide that the intended parents of children born through international surrogacy arrangements, who are recognised as the legal parents of the child in the country of the child’s birth, should also be recognised as the child’s legal parents in the UK, without it being necessary for the intended parents to apply for a parental order, but

(2) before exercising the power, the Secretary of State should be required to be satisfied that the domestic law and practice in the country in question provides protection against the exploitation of surrogates, and for the welfare of the child, that is at least equivalent to that provided in UK law.

Do consultees agree?

108. Consultation Question 100:

We invite consultees to tell us of their experience of surrogacy arrangements in the UK involving foreign intended parents.

We invite consultees’ views as to whether:

(1)          any restriction is necessary on the removal of a child from the UK for the purpose of the child becoming the subject of a parental order, or its equivalent, in another jurisdiction; and

(2)          if such a restriction is necessary, there should be a process allowing foreign intended parents to remove the child from the jurisdiction of the UK for this purpose and with the approval of the court and, if so, what form should that process take.