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Surrogacy and HFEA update: February 2019

Andrew Powell, barrister, 4 Paper Buildings, considers recent developments relating to surrogacy law, including new guidance, as well as recent cases.

Andrew Powell, barrister, 4 Paper Buildings

Storage and use of gametes for IVF treatment without the capacity to consent

Y v A Healthcare NHS Trust (2) The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (3) Z (By His Litigation Friend, The Official Solicitor) [2018] EWCOP 18

In this case Mrs Justice Knowles was concerned with an unusual situation where Y, the wife of Z, sought a declaration that it was lawful and in Z's best interests for his gametes to be retrieved, and stored prior to his death for use in IVF treatment, despite his incapacity and inability to consent after having sustained catastrophic brain injuries in a motorcycle accident.

Z and Y married in August 2014, and had had a relationship for 4 years prior to the marriage. Y gave birth to their son in January 2016, and began trying for another child soon after his birth. Unable to conceive naturally, in September 2017, the couple investigated with their GP assisted conception, and subsequently attended a fertility clinic appointment in May 2018.  It was recommended they begin IVF and the couple were due to see their consultant on 16 July 2018.

On 5 July 2018 Z was involved in a road traffic accident on his motorcycle. He sustained a catastrophic brain injury and massive internal abdominal injuries. Z's clinical team recommended that once they were unable to undertake brainstem testing, if no brain activity was identified they would pronounce Z dead, and take Z off life support for organ donation. [9]

Y wanted to retrieve Z's sperm before he died in order to continue with the IVF treatment. If unable to, this "would leave an irreplaceable hole" in her life and the life of her son [10]. Y made her application in the Court of Protection on 12 July 2018 before Mrs Justice Knowles, sitting as the emergency applications judge.

Under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 ["the HFE Act"], Schedule 3 is concerned with the consent provisions regarding use or storage of gametes (a human egg or a human sperm), embryos or human admixed embryos. Schedule 3, paragraph 1(1) states:

a. "A consent under this Schedule, and any notice under paragraph 4 varying or withdrawing a consent under this Schedule, must be in writing and, subject to sub-paragraph (2), must be signed by the person giving it."

If unable to sign due to illness, injury or physical disability Schedule 3, paragraph 1(2) may be complied with "if it is signed at the direction of the person unable to sign, in the presence of the person unable to sign and in the presence of at least one witness who attests the signature." [18] If it was found that Z lacked the capacity to provide his written consent for fertility treatment under Mental Capacity Act 2005 for the storage and use of his sperm, Y was asking the court for the following relief:

"A declaration that, notwithstanding her husband's incapacity and his inability to consent, it was lawful and in his best interests for his sperm to be retrieved and stored prior to his death"


"An order pursuant to section 16 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 ["the Act"] directing that a suitable person should sign the relevant consent form for the storage of Z's sperm on her husband's behalf"

The court considered and set out the relevant legal principles in respect of s16 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 [12] in relation to a matter or matters concerning an individual's personal welfare and permits a court (a), to make an order to make the decision or decisions on a person's behalf in relation to a matter or (b) by appointing a person (a deputy) to make decisions on the person's behalf in relation to a matter. [12]

Under section 16(3), the powers of the court under section 16 are subject to in particular section 1 (the principles on which the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is based) and section 4 (a checklist of factors that must be considered when determining if a decision made on behalf of a person lacking capacity to make decisions for themselves, or an act carried out in connection with their care or treatment, is in their best interests). [12]

Mrs Justice Knowles concluded that section 4(3) was satisfied and that Z lacked the capacity to give the necessary consents in relation to fertility treatment under Schedule 3, paragraph 1(1), and was unlikely to recover capacity. [22]

A witness statement of Y (and her unchallenged oral evidence) played a significant part of the evidence and ultimately on the court's eventual decision. Mrs Justice Knowles concluded the following facts:

"a. Z and Y had a settled intention to have a brother or sister for their little boy;

b. Z and Y had been unable to conceive a second child naturally and, as a result, had sought a referral for fertility treatment;

c. Z and Y were under the care of a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist in order to receive IVF treatment and had an appointment on 16 July 2018 to progress that treatment; and

d. Z had discussed with Y the posthumous use of his sperm and had agreed to posthumous use." [23]

In considering the best interest of Z under section 4 of Mental Capacity Act 2005, Mrs Justice Knowles concluded:

"It seems to me that Z would have chosen to allow clinicians to retrieve his sperm so that it might be stored and then used after his death so that his little boy might be able to have a brother or sister. That choice was entirely consistent with the evidence before me and consistent with what I had learned about Z's hopes and dreams for a family life with Y and children of their own. I was also satisfied that Z had contemplated what might happen if he died and that family life might not include him in person but might, however, include a child conceived by Y after his death using his sperm. Standing back and applying the law to the facts of this case, I am in no doubt that the decisions I have taken on Z's behalf were in his best interests even though his death was imminent." [24]

Notwithstanding the fact that Z lacked capacity, the court was able to conclude that Z would want his material not only stored but also used in the IVF procedure, Mrs Justice Knowles declared that it was lawful for a doctor to retrieve his gametes and for those to be stored and used both before and after his death on the signing of the relevant consents. The order provided a relative to sign the relevant consents in accordance with paragraph 1(2) of the Schedule to the HFE Act. [27]

Plainly any future case will turn on its own facts, however the court observed that were there to be a similar case in the future that the court will "from the outset, consider the execution of consents to both storage and use of gametes rather than consent to storage alone." [28]

Declaration of parentage: two cases involving 'errors' in Form PP 

P (Declaration of Parentage – PP Form Mistake) [2018] EWFC 74

In this case that came case Mrs Justice Theis, an application for a declaration of parentage was sought to remedy an error arising from the insertion of a wrong date on Form PP. 

The applicant, P, and respondent, Q, were an unmarried same-sex couple. The respondent gave birth to a child, A, in December 2017 after IVF treatment. The embryos used in the treatment were created using the applicant's (P's) eggs and donated sperm, but A was carried by the respondent (Q).

Given the fact that P and Q (the parties) were not married or in a civil partnership, they were required to comply with sections 43-44 HFE Act 2008 in order for P (the applicant and non-birth mother) to be a legal parent. This required prior to conception the completion by the parties of two forms: Form PP which provides P's (the non-birth mother's) consent to being treated as a parent of any children resulting from the treatment provided to Q (the birth mother), and Form WP, which provides Q's (the birth mother's) consent to P (the non-birth mother) being so treated.

The couple had completed forms WP and PP at the IVF clinic in September 2015, before commencing treatment. On Form PP, the non-birth mother however accidentally wrote her own birth-year instead of 2015, in two places. This error was not picked up at the time, as in many of the cases in Re A and the subsequent cases which have followed. Both P and Q believed they had taken all necessary steps to secure joint legal parentage for A. Following A's birth on 12 December 2017, P was registered as A's parent on his birth certificate. [12]

The parties had previously had another child, B. All the forms were completed correctly and the applicant's legal parentage regarding B was not in question. [10]

In January 2018, the IVF clinic noticed the errors and warned the couple of a possible issue with legal parentage. P applied for a declaration of parentage pursuant to section 55A Family Law Act 1986, with Q supporting the declaration being granted [13 – 14]. The parties submitted the court could make the declaration on two grounds:

"(1) That the obviously erroneous defect in the PP Form (in which the date was mistakenly completed as 26.9.83 instead of 26.9.15 on page 2 and 3) should be corrected by the court either through rectification or by a process of construction without the need for rectification, and/or

(2) That the PP Form signed by the Applicant on 31 March 2014 confirming her intention to be a legal parent of 'any' child carried by the Respondent, which was never withdrawn, is effective for the purposes of s43-44 HFEA 2008 in conferring legal parentage on her in respect of A as well as B." [27]

In considering the substantive decision regarding the declaration of parentage, Theis J considered that where there is an obvious and plain mistake (a Category B mistake as described in Re A), the court could correct this mistake by rectification (where the requirements for that remedy are satisfied), or, in cases where the mistake is obvious on the face of the document, by a process of construction without the need for rectification. Mrs Justice Theis concluded that the present case was one of these with the applicant having mistakenly put her year of birth, rather than the year the document was signed. Mrs Justice Theis made the declaration of parentage in respect of P and concluded:

"The evidence from the joint statement of the parties, supported by the statement on behalf of the clinic, describes the PP form as being signed by the applicant on 26 September 2015, which was before any treatment took place. There is no dispute as to the parties' intentions and the applicant was registered on the birth certificate. The date was otherwise correct apart from the year, which mistakenly was put as the applicant's year of birth, rather than the year the form was signed. The court can correct that mistake through making the declaration of parentage sought." [30]

Whilst noting the similarities of Ground 2 to Re the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 Cases P, Q, R, S, T, U W and X [2017] EWHC 49 (Fam), Mrs Justice Theis, having concluded Ground 1 was satisfied, did not go on to consider this alternative ground.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case AM), Re [2018] EWHC 3178 (Fam)

The case also related to an application pursuant to section 55 of the Family Law Act 1986 that the applicant parent, X, is the legal parent of the twin children (C1 and C2).

In this case, the Form WP was correctly completed too. In the Form PP however, which was otherwise correctly completed, the declaration in section 5 was not however signed by X. The consent box in section 3 was ticked though, and the second page (containing section 3) was signed at the foot by X. [10]

Given the nature of the issues, Sir James Munby decided there was no need for C1 and C2 to have a guardian appointed. [7]

It was found:

a. "i) The treatment which led to the birth of the children, C1 and C2, was embarked upon and carried through jointly and with full knowledge by both the woman (that is, Y) and her partner (X).

b. ii) From the outset of that treatment, it was the intention of both X and Y that X would be a legal parent of C1 and C2. Each was aware that this was a matter which, legally, required the signing by each of them of consent forms. Each of them believed that they had signed the relevant forms as legally required and, more generally, had done whatever was needed to ensure that they would both be parents.

c. iii) From the moment when the pregnancy was confirmed, both X and Y believed that X was the other parent of the children. That remained their belief when C1 and C2 were born.

d. iv) The first they knew that anything was or might be 'wrong' was when they were contacted by the clinic." [5]

26. The court accepted that "[t]he error in relation to section 5 is irrelevant; X's signature at the foot of the second page is sufficient to satisfy the statutory requirement" (referring to a large number of previous cases). Further, it was accepted that "the third page of the Form PP is not actually linked to the issue of consent to parenthood (dealt with on the second page); it relates to consent to other elements in the process, so that its presence or absence, completion or, as here, non-completion is for present purposes neither here nor there." [10]

27. The declaration of parentage under section 55 Family Law Act 1986 by the court. [11]

28. A further complication was that when the parents registered their children's births, the Registrar (erroneously) advised them only Y, as the biological and gestational mother, could be registered. X as a result (despite the declaration of parentage) did not have parental responsibility for C1 and C2. X sought (with Y's agreement) for a parental responsibility order under section 4 of the Children Act 1989, which was also granted. [12]

29. Sadly, both cases P (Declaration of Parentage – PP Form Mistake) [2018] EWFC 74 and Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case AM), Re [2018] EWHC 3178 (Fam)) highlight once more the significant impact that clinic errors can have in relation to the acquisition of parenthood where consent forms have been completed incorrectly.

Declaration of non-parentage

Z (Embryo Adoption: Declaration of Non-Parentage) [2018] EWFC 68

The parties, an unmarried couple, sought medical assistance to have a child. They were advised by a UK fertility clinic to consider embryo adoption in Spain. Where fertility treatment took place at a UK clinic, various consent forms would be completed pursuant to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, including Form WP ('your consent to your partner being the legal parent') and Form PP ('your consent to being the legal parent'). At the Spanish clinic, an embryo donated by another couple was transferred to the applicant, who gave birth to a child in the UK in March 2013. The parties registered the birth together and the birth certificate recorded the first respondent as the child's father. The parties separated in September 2013 and the child remained in the applicant's care. The first respondent had no further contact with the child and refused to pay child maintenance on the ground that he was not her biological father. The applicant brought the application to enable the child's birth certificate to be amended.

As the treatment received by the applicant took place outside the UK, the relevant provisions of the 2008 Act did not apply. Therefore, the parties had not undergone counselling or completed Forms WP and PP. However, pursuant to s.36 and s.37, as the parties were not married at the time the embryo was implanted, it was a requirement that the first respondent consent to being treated as the father of any child born as a result of that treatment . In order for that consent to be effective, it had to be given in the form set out in s.37.

Theis J concluded that as the treatment had not been undertaken at a licensed clinic in the United Kingdom and the fatherhood conditions under ss 36 and 37 HFEA 2008 were not met, and therefore granted a declaration of non-parentage.

Concluding her judgment, Theis J observed that this case was a stark reminder for those embarking on fertility treatment of the need to give careful consideration in respect of the legal position for a child born as a result of such treatment.

Court of Appeal decision involving in approach to public policy in respect of commercial surrogacy

XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust [2018] EWCA Civ 2832

In the November 2017 update, the case of XX v Whittington Hospital Trust [2017] EWHC 2318 (QB) considered the quantum of damages the court should order in a case where the hospital had accepted liability in relation to negligence that led to the claimant's infertility. In particular, the claimant had sought damages to enable her and her partner to undertake surrogacy in California in the United States of America.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal considered whether it correct in law to refuse (or limit) the appellant's recovery of damages for expenses of surrogacy arrangements which she intended to make, either in the state of California, or, alternatively, in the UK. Sir Robert Nelson, sitting in the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court, rejected the argument that the appellant should be awarded damages to enter into a commercial surrogacy arrangement on public policy grounds that would be unlawful in this jurisdiction. The High Court also rejected that the Appellant could recover limited expenses for UK-based surrogacy using her own eggs, but surrogacy using a donor's eggs.

It should be noted that surrogacy is lawful in California and commercial surrogacy arrangements are binding on the parties to them. In this jurisdiction, non-commercial surrogacy is permitted, and only reasonable expenses may be paid to the surrogate mother. Commercial surrogacy arrangements are unlawful and it is a criminal offence to advertise for a surrogate or offer oneself as a surrogate (Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985 sections 2 and 3) [see 9-11].

The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and found there was no public policy bar to the recovery of damages for the Appellant to pursue a commercial surrogacy arrangement in California. Lord Justice McCombe sets out a number of reasons why the appeal was allowed. In particular, his lordship sets out the fact that the purpose of the prohibition in the Surrogacy Arrangements Act section 2(1) is to render acts of commercial surrogacy unlawful in the UK: "It does not purport to legislate for any country other than the UK and does not prohibit Ms X from doing what she proposes […] It cannot conceivably be said now that surrogacy as such is contrary to the public policy of our law." [70]

The Court of Appeal's decision has therefore overturned the lower court's ambivalence to commercial surrogacy that was so prevalent in the public policy considerations of the judgment of first instance.

McCombe LJ went onto observe that "s.1A [Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985] says the "No surrogacy arrangement is enforceable by or against any of the persons making it. However, that must include surrogacy arrangements lawfully made in this country. I do not consider that that assists in determining whether the proposed lawful acts of Ms X should give rise to a bar to her recovering the reasonable sums incurred in the exercise. The question whether a surrogacy arrangement is enforceable between the parties seems to me to be not relevant to that question." [76]

The Court of Appeal considered that "[t]he distinction between "own egg" surrogacy and "donor egg" surrogacy, employing the partner's sperm, would be entirely artificial" [94] (this distinction had previously held in the case of Briody [2002] QB 856). In departing from the dicta in Briody therefore, the appeal is allowed regarding the earlier decision limiting of damages for donor egg surrogacy.

Lady Justice King in particular raises some interesting points regarding this ground of appeal [101-105]:

"101. It is unnecessary to resort to statistics or research in order to appreciate the social changes in the years since Briody. These changes have led to the current acceptance of an infinite variety of forms of family life of which single sex, single person and so called 'blended families' are but examples. The creation of these families is often facilitated consequent upon the advances in fertility treatment including the acceptance of and increased use of donor eggs. The law has struggled to keep up, but has done so as identified by McCombe LJ for example through legislation permitting same sex marriage and recently the introduction of parental leave for the commissioning parents following surrogacy.

102. Parental orders can now be made in respect of same sex couples and single individuals. In each case the child born, consequent upon a surrogacy arrangement, will have been conceived as a result of donor gametes (either eggs or sperm, or both depending on the sex and medical circumstances of the applicants). In addition, more and more couples are choosing to start their families in their late 30s and 40s and the use of donor eggs in order to enable such couples to start a family is far from unusual.

103. Children born through surrogacy are legally the child of the commissioning parents upon the making of the parental order. To my mind however of equal significance to those who become parents as a result of surrogacy, is that psychologically and emotionally the baby who is born is just as much "their" child as if one of them had carried and given birth to him or her. The same applies to children born as a result of 'donor' IVF. In the skeleton argument filed on behalf of Ms X, Mr Johnston said that such parents would be "appalled" to think that because they have a genetic connection to only one of their parents, the children concerned were somehow of lesser value within their family. Whilst on first reading this passage of the skeleton argument, I rather recoiled at the use of the word "appalled," I am inclined to agree that that is indeed the case.

104. No doubt Ms X, in common with almost every woman who enters into a surrogacy arrangement, would infinitely prefer to be able to carry and give birth to her own child. But in my view, the devastating emotional loss to a woman of child bearing years who suffers this type of injury is not so much the inability physically to bear a child, but the deprivation of the ability to found her own family and lead a family life centred around children with all the ups and downs and highs and lows that such a life entails.

105. It follows that I too would agree with McCombe LJ that Mr Johnston's submission correctly reflects the modern law as to restorative compensation and that the distinction between "own egg" surrogacy and "donor egg" surrogacy, is artificial and cannot be maintained. I therefore, with equal respect to Hale LJ's view in Briody, feel able not to follow the dicta on this point." 
(emphasis added)

The decision in XX v Whittington heralds a sea change in how the court has approached commercial surrogacy.  This might be the first step towards a relaxation of the prohibition of commercial surrogacy in this jurisdiction. 

At the time of writing (28 January 2019) it is understood that the defendant hospital trust has applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court to challenge the Court of Appeal's decision.

Single applicant unable to apply for a parental order

In B (Adoption: Surrogacy and Parental Responsibility) [2018] EWFC 86 Theis J observed  that despite being some 10 years after Re X and Y (Foreign Surrogacy) [2008] EWHC 3131 (Fam)  which involved a surrogacy arrangement in the Ukraine, that " the description by Hedley J in that case of the path to parenthood as being 'less a journey along a primrose path, more a trek through a thorn forest' is as relevant today as it was then"[7].

The case concerned an application for an adoption order by a single applicant, X, who had entered into a surrogacy arrangement with her husband, Y, in the Ukraine. Having identified a gestational surrogate, Z, in the Ukraine, an embryo transfer took place using a donor egg and the intended father's sperm. Prior to the child being born in August 2017, the intended parents separated and the intended father later indicated that he did not wish to play a role in the child's life. After returning to this jurisdiction post birth (having encountered difficulties with the child's immigration status), X was obliged to bring the matter to court for urgent directions when the child required medical treatment and the treating hospital raised concerns about X's ability to consent to medical treatment given that she did not, at that stage, have PR.

The court considered whether X had PR in light of Article 16 of the 1996 Hauge Convention (i.e. that because X had PR in the Ukraine she would have PR here). In any event, the court made no order but recorded by way of a recital that the court considered that X had parental responsibility under Ukrainian law and could consent to medical treatment.  

The matter retuned to court and Theis J made a child arrangements order that the child live with X (having granted permission for X to apply for such an order) thereby affording PR to X.  The child, B, was joined as a party to the proceedings and X later indicated her intention to apply for an adoption order in respect of B. Whilst Y, the biological father, had played no role in the proceedings, the court directed that he be given notice of the adoption application, and Z, the gestational surrogate, was joined as a party to the adoption application. The adoption application was supported by the child's guardian and Z the gestational surrogate. 

In terms of the legal framework the court accepted the legal opinion of a Ukrainian legal expert who confirmed that that X and Y were considered the child's parents under Ukrainian law and Z, the surrogate, had no rights or responsibilities in relation to the child.

The court then went on to consider whether Article 16 of the 1996 Hague Convention was engaged and whether the parental responsibility that X and Y had under Ukrainian law subsisted in this jurisdiction.   Article 16(3)-(4) states:

(3)  Parental responsibility which exists under the law of the State of the child's habitual residence subsists after a change of that habitual residence to another State.

(4)  If the child's habitual residence changes, the attribution of parental responsibility by operation of law to a person who does not already have such responsibility is governed by the law of the State of the new habitual residence.

It was therefore necessary for the court to consider whether the child was habitually resident in the Ukraine prior to her arrival here in January 2018. If she was, Article 16 (3) means that X and Y's parental responsibility for B in the Ukraine would subsist here without the need for any further application to the court here [41]. The court accepted the submission on behalf of X and the child that the child was not habitually resident in the Ukraine (see para 43-44) and therefore there could be no recognition of the PR that X and Y had in the Ukraine.              

The court also considered Y's status in relation to the child and concluded that whilst he was a legal and genetic parent, he did not have PR.

In making an adoption order, the court considered the lifelong welfare needs of the child and concluded that "B's welfare requires Z's consent to be dispensed with. Z has been consistent in expressing her wish to have no further involvement in B's life. B needs the security and stability an adoption order will give her, securing her relationship with X long term." [83]

As Theis J opened the judgment to this case, it is once again another reminder of some of the difficulties that can emerge in international surrogacy cases and the caution for those embarking on such arrangements should consider.  The options for X in this case were limited, however the making of an adoption order was plainly in the child's best interest and the most appropriate order, short of a parental order, that would secure the child's lifelong welfare needs.                         

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Remedial) Order 2018 

In the case of Z (A Child) (No 2) [2016] EWHC 1191 (Fam), Sir James Munby found that section 54 of HFE Act 2008 was incompatible with Article 8 of Human Rights Act 1998, when taken in conjunction with Article 14. A declaration of incompatibility was made on 16 May 2016, saying that UK surrogacy law discriminated against single parents and their children in breach of human rights principles.

The applicant in the matter was a single parent who sought a parental order under section 54. The court was unable to grant a parental order to the applicant due to section 54 parental orders being unavailable to single parents, with section 54 limiting such an order to two people in a relationship akin to marriage (see the earlier decision of Z (A Child) [2015] EWFC 73).

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Remedial) Order 2018 came into force on 3 January 2019. It is a remedial order pursuant to section 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998, and its purpose is to remedy the incompatibility of section 54 of the HFE Act 2008 with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Order introduces a section 54A to the 2008 Act, which allows for parental orders to be made in favour of one person. This allows single biological parents of children born through surrogacy to apply for a parental order. It will have great ramifications for single parents who wish to secure their parenthood and recognise the biological link between themselves and their child (which an adoption order would not do). It also means they are able to obtain a UK birth certificate, make their children British and secure rights to surrogacy leave and pay during the first months of their children's lives.

Second Report of the Surrogacy UK Working Group on Surrogacy Law Reform

This report is a follow up to the Working Group's 2015 report. In the December 2018 report a staggering 96% of people who participated in the study were of the view that there was need for reform of the existing  surrogacy laws.

Among other matters, two of the key recommendations of the Working Group were:

• Intended parents becoming legal parents at birth;
• Recognition of parenthood acquired overseas (e.g. for a defined list of countries)

In respect of when intended parents should be recognised as legal parents, in order of preference, the following results were obtained (all 103 surrogates responded):

o At birth (automatically): 53 (51.5%)
o Pre-birth order: 17 (16.5%)
o At birth (court order): 13 (12.6%)
o Pre-conception: 11 (10.7%)
o After birth (court order): 5 (4.9%)
o After birth (time period): 2 (1.9%)
o Other: 2 (1.9%)

The results show that for the overwhelming majority of surrogates who participated in the study, most expressed a preference for legal parenthood to be determined before or at birth.

The recommendation that parenthood acquired overseas should be recognised is a recommendation that has similar parallels to some of the adoption provisions where an adoption from an overseas jurisdiction is automatically recognised (e.g. The Adoption (Recognition of Overseas Adoptions) Order 2013).

With the Law Commission currently looking at surrogacy, it is plain there is an appetite for reform.  The Hague Conference  on Private International Law's expert group of parentage / surrogacy project ( in their most recent  September 2018 meeting indicated that they will be meeting in early 2019 to discuss the feasibility of future work relating to legal parentage arising in cases of international surrogacy arrangements and / or assisted reproductive technologies. It is widely anticipated that any conclusions will emerge following their next meeting, which will be followed by the Law Commission's consultation papers on surrogacy that is due in the spring of 2019.

February 2019