A remedial order has come into force on 3rd January that gives single people in the UK the same rights as couples to become the legal parents of their surrogate-born children.
The change to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (HFEA) 2008 was welcomed by law groups who said it will end the “legal limbo” faced by children born this way.
The HFEA previously only allowed couples to be granted a parental order after surrogacy.
These orders result in a new birth certificate, rather than an adoption certificate, being drawn up for the "intended parents".
The 2008 HFEA allowed parental orders, which had only been available to heterosexual married couples, to be issued more broadly but single parents were consciously excluded.
“The rationale at the time”, according to today’s publication, was that single people would go through the more rigorous adoption process to determine if one person could “cope with the demands of bringing up a child”.
This was challenged last year in a case brought by fertility law firm NGA Law.
The firm was representing a single father whose application to family court for a parental order, after having a child through a surrogacy arrangement in the US, was rejected.
The challenge led to the Family Court ruling the HFEA legislation was “incompatible” with the European Convention on Human Rights – one of just 20 times that has happened since the Human Rights Act was introduced in 1998.
Natalie Gamble from NGA Law said “We’ve got a whole batch of clients, single dads and single mums who – for whatever reasons – needed a surrogate to carry their child and who were desperately waiting for this law change to happen.
“It’s really good news for them and their children. We’re really glad these children will not be left as legal orphans and will be resolved in the loving families in which they were born.”
The new law will not help couples or single people whose child was created using both donor eggs and donor sperm (sometimes called double donation), as parental orders are only available where a genetic link exists between the child and at least one intended parent.
Article source: www.bionews.org.uk 7th January 2019