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Single parent surrogacy – remedial order goes to Parliament

Law likely to be changed in 2018

A draft remedial order has been sent to Parliament in order to change the law on surrogacy for single parents.  If passed, it will enable single mothers and fathers to apply for secure legal status for their families in just the same way as couples can currently do.

This development has been expected since May 2016 when the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, made a declaration in Z (A Child) (No 2) [2016] EWHC 1191 (Fam) that section 54(1) and (2) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 are incompatible with Article 14 of the ECHR, taken in conjunction with Article 8.

Natalie Gamble Associates, who acted for the applicant father in Z, have welcomed the move, as has the single father client who is eagerly awaiting the final court order which will give him legal responsibility for his son.

The firm, in its blog, has outlined the procedure for changing the law.

"[The change] is likely to be some time in 2018. The remedial order will now be considered by Parliament over two periods of consideration (during which amendments can be proposed).  The clock has now started ticking for the first 60 day consideration period, during which the Joint Committee for Human Rights will consider and scrutinise the order. Once this period has elapsed, the government will consider any proposed amendments, and the final order will then be laid for a further period of time. It is difficult to say how long this process will take (and whether a Parliamentary vote will be needed) but we would estimate between 4 to 6 months from here.  We will be closely involved in this process, and will be reviewing the detail of the remedial order to raise any problems or issues."

For the blog entry by Natalie Gamble Associates, click here.