Surrogacy Law Could Change Soon: What That Means For Parents24th May 2016
There has been an important legal development in surrogacy law – one that affects the crucial issue of Parental Orders.
Currently only couples who are married, in a civil partnership or an enduring family relationship can be granted a Parental Order.
But that could change following a new ruling in the High Court by its Family Division President Sir James Munby.
The ruling centres on the case of a man confirmed as the legal father of a child in the US but denied that right in the UK because he is a single parent.
He lost his appeal to the High Court last September – even though he is the biological father of the child.
Now he has appealed again, citing the Human Rights Act 1998. He said the fact a Parental Order application could be made only by two people discriminated against him as a single parent.
And in a landmark decision the President of the Family Division has ruled that the current law prohibiting single parents from applying for a Parental Order is incompatible with human rights law.
He was unable to go as far as granting the applicant a Parental Order but this development raises the issue of discrimination and opens the door for possible legal reform by Parliament.
There have long been calls to reform the UK’s surrogacy laws which are outdated and problematic for intended parents. This latest development is a huge step in the right direction.
Surrogacy law is a fast-moving and rapidly evolving area of legislation that requires specialist expertise.
Coles Miller’s Family Department is led by Associate Solicitor and Mediator Richard Perrins who has extensive experience of surrogacy and fertility law.
For more information, please contact Richard Perrins at Coles Miller’s Broadstone office, 01202 355698.